A Great Example of Flipping a Complaint into a Loyal Customer

For the most part, we try to look at customer complaints as opportunities.  It’s an opportunity to show our customers that – unlike many retailers – we really care about them.  From my experiences, about 90% of the people out there react positively and appreciate our extra touch, whether it’s a shipping refund, a credit towards a future purchase, or any other number of things we offer to our customers to keep them happy.

Here’s a great example that passed through my inbox recently.  We sell Tastefully Driven products in our Amazon store.  Any time a customer places an order on Amazon, I’ve automated that they receive two emails from us.  The first gives them their tracking number and thanks them for their purchase, the second is sent a few weeks later and follows up with them on their satisfaction with the product and offers them a coupon to shop directly on TastefullyDriven.com.

A customer replied to that second email with the following:

Actually, since you asked… I was pretty disappointed with the packaging of the shipment. My Klasse AIO container was damaged in shipping and leaked all over everything. Some padding (even just wadded up newspaper would have worked) and a properly sized box could have prevented this – you might want to consider it in the future. The plastic container for the clay bar was also a little squished but the clay bar itself was fine.

I replied later that day:

I sincerely apologize for the damaged item and the poor packing – that certainly should not happen. In the past few weeks we’ve implemented tighter standards so that no packages get shipped without adequate packing material. I just personally went out to the warehouse and packed you a replacement Klasse AIO. It will ship to you today via FedEx Ground, tracking number XXXXXXXXX.  Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any other questions and I’ll be happy to help.

And he wrote back once he received the package:

I received the extra package in great condition. Thanks again. I’ve recommended you to friends already, have left positive feedback on Amazon, and will go through you guys again in the future.

How much time did that take me? 20 minutes total. The cost to replace and ship the item was minimal. But we were able to make a positive impact on this customer and consequently may have gained a customer for life. And you know what? Even if he never orders again, I’m still glad we treat our customers like that. It’s the right thing to do, and over time that will always benefit the business…not to mention allow me to sleep soundly at night.

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