Had a perfect classic "what not to say to a customer" example early last week.
Had placed a fairly large order with a supplier, some items were urgently needed - a real rush. Others could wait a good while. We anticipated arrival on Wednesday of last week, and when they didn't arrive Wednesday a.m., emailed, asking for tracking. One project was on hold, waiting for a component. No reply to my email. Late that afternoon I emailed again. Received a reply, that the entire order was delayed waiting for their arrival of one small item, and would ship in a few days.
I wasn't pleased. Emailed back that, perhaps I had been spoiled by their otherwise exemplary customer service, but when an order is going to be delayed a week, I expected to be notified, and given my options. In this case i would have asked them to ship the bulk of the order asap, and backorder the delayed items. That would have been no problem, and I would have gladly paid the extra shipping charges. I need to note that my email was assertive, but not in any way inappropriate. I stated the fact that by failing to notify me of a delay, they had caused us several problems.
While I was out of the office, my production manager received a call from the business owner. "Marge must have been having a bad hair day."
She was so angry she ended up hanging up on the man. And I do not blame her.
Rule number one - when a customer voices displeasure with a mistake in your organization (and YES, we all make mistakes!) do NOT suggest that she is "having a bad hair day."
Reminder to me... some men are STILL male chauvinist pigs!