Going The Extra Mile

by | Aug 6, 2021 | Reflections

I recently had an unpleasant experience with a headband + accessory company that I had found through a Facebook ad. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in love with the products (the fit was too tight!) and wanted to return them. The entire process to return my items was long and difficult. The company kept giving me different reasons for why I was unable to return the products. Not only that, but they also made it almost impossible for me to leave a review!

I was extremely disappointed by my experience and interaction with this company. While I did not expect a full refund, I felt like their customer service did not care about my feedback and was unwilling to work with me to even exchange the product.

On the flip side, I have had some memorably positive experiences with other companies. The other day I made an error when ordering something from Vistaprint (Mom brain is real). Because the mistake was my own, I didn’t think they would discount me for a replacement, but I still had to contact their customer service to help process an exchange. To my surprise, they sent me a replacement order with the correct items without charge AND with free shipping! Not only that, but they even apologized to me for the confusion. My mind was blown. 🤯 

This delightful experience with Vistaprint led me to think of other times companies have surprised me with their customer care — in both good and bad ways. Isn’t it amazing how memorable a company can be from a good experience just as much, if not more, as it can be from a bad one? I decided to ask my Stratos colleagues and other friends about companies that really made an impression on them and how much those experiences impacted future desires to purchase from and recommend those companies to others. 

Here were some great experiences shared:

“When my cat was sick and on a special diet, I had to stop feeding her current food from Chewy.com. I messaged their customer service explaining my problem and asking if I could return the unopened food for a partial refund. Not only did they refund me completely, but they asked me to donate the food to a local shelter instead AND mailed me a handwritten card of well wishes for my sick kitty. I will never forget how cared for I felt.”

“Last Christmas I was getting my sisters and I matching necklaces with little pearls in our birthstone colors as gifts. When they came in I realized I had accidentally ordered the wrong month’s colors. I called in to see if I could purchase just the extra bead to try and swap it out myself, but instead, the lady sent me three NEW necklaces (no charge) and fast-shipped them for me to get here in time for Christmas!”

“I ordered some balloons for my mom’s party to celebrate her last day of radiation. The balloons spelled out “Fu** Cancer!!” A few days before they were going to arrive I received an email from the company that I had been refunded for my order. The message from the company said something along the lines of, “Don’t worry, your balloons are still coming. We wanted to offer them to you for free because we agree with their message! Use the money for cake instead?” I was so surprised and felt so cared for in this experience. I will never forget this interaction.”

Great customer service is important because customers are people, and people deserve to be cared for. It’s not always just to get great reviews or word-of-mouth referrals, although those are important for business, too! I firmly believe that most of us want to make the world a better place, no matter where we’re working or what our role is. Whether you are a CEO or a customer service rep, you have the power to really make a difference in the lives of other people. 

Have you ever had a really great customer service experience that left you feeling beyond cared for? We would love to hear about it!