Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What not to say...

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!

We love our clients!

We love client feedback!

Some of it is wonderful. People will write about a difficult situation, we'll make a suggestion, and later receive wonderful feedback...that it helped immensely.  We love the times that we know, all the way through, that we made a difference in people's lives.

And then there's the feedback and/or panicked questions that come, over and over again, because people don't read the information on the Site.  At least once a week we'll get a "your German Chamomile is GREEN, and thick...it won't pour. It's supposed to be BLUE. Can you send me some German Chamomile, this has the wrong label."  And I check the order, yes, sure enough, they ordered German Chamomile CO2 extracted...which is properly described on the website as thick, green, hard to work with, and SO much more healing than the distilled.  But they didn't read. (I actually have a form letter for that one, it happens so often.)

And people will write that they LOVE a new absolute that they sampled.  Or that they don't like the xxxx Floral Water that they ordered and it isn't nearly as good as YYY's Floral Water ... and I get to explain the difference between a true distilled hydrosol and a floral water. (Which is on the website, but who reads?)

And people share their lives, and their families' lives with us.  The twin grandbabies in New Zealand who love Baby Bottom Balm.  The baby who avoided ear surgery when mom started diffusing Eucalyptus Smithii in her room. The elderly woman, awaiting knee surgery, who was able to discontinue her pain meds because Miracle Oil helped so much.

Yes, we make a difference.

Sometimes, though, we get to laugh out loud.  Last night was one of those nights.  A client was placing an order, and left the following comment:

Special Instructions / Comments: Thank you for your thoughtful samples.  My husband & I have been using Helichrysum to help with a scarring issue in his groin area - we added the black pepper thinking the warmth would also be beneficial for the healing. Then HEY! WooHoo! I noticed this increased desire... for both of us (We're in our mid-50s acting like maybe our 30s) and frankly, this has been really nice. OKayy! 'nuf said.  :-

I love doing what we do!!!!  (And I'm especially grateful to clients who give us permission to share...with or without using their names!)