We rarely seem to hear of good customer service these days. Let alone great customer service. It’s always the bad service we get to hear about. There again the best examples of great customer service seem to come from seminar speakers who relay third hand stories usually from America. So it is perhaps nice to experience something first hand that is worth sharing here.
Like many people I still enjoy a trip to the shops, although for so many purchases buying online is just quicker, less hassle and often a lot cheaper too. And so like many people I do just that. I buy certain things online.
Over recent years there has been a huge growth in products related to caring for garden birds. Food, feeders or other assorted products. The garden centres in the UK seem to be full of ever larger displays but certain items lend themselves to being purchased online. I use Amazon for many of these and have never had any problems with quality, pricing or delivery. In fact I’m always impressed by just how quickly things can get to me.
So I was a little concerned the other day when I realised my most recent order was almost a week overdue. The good news was that the item could be tracked via an email confirmation of my purchase, but the bad news I discovered was that the particular item would not in fact be delivered at all, since it had somehow become damaged in transit. The item had been ‘returned to sender’ and the advice was for me to ‘contact Amazon’.
My heart sank.
Contacting Amazon seemed like it would be one of those afternoon-devouring challenges. You know endless menus of press 1 for repeat orders, 2 for cancellations, and 3 for complaints. Followed by long periods of hold music. But reality was rather different…
Although it wasn’t completely clear how to reach Amazon’s customer service team a few clicks of the mouse beginning with something like a ‘Help’ button got me to a screen where I could indicate the missing item. I think using some phrase like Where’s my stuff? Then I was faced with a box for me to enter my phone number to request either a) an immediate call back or b) a 5-minute call back. Thinking that this couldn’t be for real I chose the former. But no sooner had I clicked to send my phone number than the phone on my desk rang. Sure enough it was someone from Amazon’s customer service team phoning me. What was even better was that the person I was speaking to
1) understood the problem,
2) could verify what had happened, and
3) had the authority to organise a new dispatch of my order.
This it was explained to me, would be sent first class for speed. Therefore it should be with me the very next day.
Now although my replacement package did not turn up the next day, it did arrive the day after that. And that seemed to me rather impressive.
I’m sure other people reading this will have had great online service similar to what I received from Amazon, but I’d never had experience of this before and in terms of rectifying my original problem they were really very good.
So it seems really great customer service is available. You just don’t always know it’ll be there when you need it. Thank you Amazon.