Customer Service: Missed Opportunity

As has been mentioned quite a bit on here, I do a fair amount of online shopping. Sometimes I buy things on impulse and sometimes I buy two styles of the same thing to see which I like better. Often, I keep them both, but once in a while I return the items.

Companies don’t realize the opportunity they have when a customer processes a return. It doesn’t take much, an easy return, even if I have to pay for the return shipping, still can go long distances in the eyes of a customer.

One such opportunity flew by like a lobbed soft pitch to an All-Star player.

I bought some shoes online the other day, ordered my size, and one of two pairs didn’t fit. Sad. No biggie, right? Just needed to return the other pair. So, as the instructions led me, I sent the company an email asking for an RMA:

Pretty straight forward, “I have this item I purchased from you, and I would like to return it.” Heh.

This is the response I got from the company:

I’m sure, on the first read, you are asking yourself, “What’d they do wrong?” To almost any other person, you’d never notice the missed opportunity. One little thing could have made the difference here – USE MY NAME, I am not “Mr. Customer,” “Dear Customer,” or “Guest.” I’m Nick. I told you that in my first email.

Now, You’ll note I redacted the company’s name. I’ll still do business with this company. I’m not calling them out on the carpet, but as someone who has chosen to perform the function of Customer Service as a career, I recognize these small things that can go exceptionally far in building customer rapport and retention.

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2 responses to “Customer Service: Missed Opportunity

  1. That is SUCH a pet peeve of mine. I HATE canned responses!

  2. I think that no matter what business you are in, it becomes natural that as your business grows, you have to find ways to become more efficient. There’s nothing wrong with that. Efficiency is one of the keys to good business. The problem occurs when we allow efficiency to cut out our relationships with our customers. We forget that people would rather do business with other people that they have relationships with and we give them “canned service” instead. One example of this is the “canned response” like you received. It’s not always going to be a deal-breaker that’s going to cause you to do business elsewhere, but then again, sometimes, it probably will be.

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