I don’t think so.
I recently bought a Gucci watch and needed to have additional links put in the band. After speaking with the local jeweler, I was told that since it was a new purchase, Gucci would send me two links at no charge. All I had to do was give them a call with the serial number and my address.
That sounded great! So I called the number in the manual and was greeted with a menu where all the options you pressed led you back to the main menu and in a perpetual circle.
Knowing I wasn’t getting anywhere fast, I found the fax number for the same office I was trying to contact. I typed up a nice letter saying I has having a problem getting through to them on the phone and could someone please call me.
I faxed the same letter each morning for 5 days without getting a response. Now this isn’t some fly-by-night company, we’re talking Gucci here!
I tried emailing them as well, but all I received was an auto response which told me to call the same number that went around in circles.
After spending about two-grand on a watch, I would expect to have someone pick up the other end of the phone if I needed help with it. But, I guess I expect way too much from companies any more.
Needless to say, I never got my free links. I ended up paying a little over a hundred bucks to an authorized repair center to have them put in, instead of wasting any more of my energy with the incompetent customer service team at Gucci.
My next bad customer experience comes courtesy of the folks from Native Union. That’s the company who makes the totally cool POP Phone, retro handset for the iPhone that I blogged about a few months ago.
I don’t blog about a product very often unless it’s something that knocks my fat ass off the chair because it’s simply “great.” I blogged about the POP Phone because it was a handset I finally found that not only sounded good, but was comfortable to use. After blogging, several of my followers emailed me to say they got one and fell in love with it.
I ordered a few of the devices in different colors and even gave some away as gifts. One of them had a problem where the handset cord separated from the base. Knowing it was still under manufacturers warranty, I followed the instructions and emailed support. I also saw that they had a customer service forum where “Native Union employees are here to help.”
I posted my problem along with photos of what happened 13 days ago, and those “employees who are here to help” haven’t responded. As anticipated, my email went unanswered as well.
I’m not sure how businesses can operate with such poor, non-existent customer service. Whether it’s a large company such as Gucci or your own small eCommerce business, you need to take care of your customers!
You really do!
These are the people who spend money on your products and share their experience with their friends and relatives. These are the same people who will come back and make a repeat purchase from you if you treat them right.
When I get good service from a company, I make sure to compliment the person responsible for it and send a long a note to their superior. When I get bad service from a company, I blog, I tweet, I Facebook – and I’m not alone in that.
This weekend I had to pick up a new TiVo box as the one on my living room TV suddenly died. After installing it, I had to give TiVo a call to activate the new box and cancel the old one. After speaking to the customer service rep, he told me that the box I was wanting to cancel had one month left on the service contract and he would see if his supervisor would waive the early termination fee.
One month! Plus, he just activated a brand new box to replace that one.
The rep came back on the line and said, “I wasn’t happy with the answer I got from that supervisor, let me see if I can find someone who can take care of this for you.”
He came back on the line to tell me that even though the box I’m terminating isn’t working and I just bought a new one, there is no way they are going to cancel the service and waive the early termination fee.
We’re talking about one month left in the service commitment here and it’s one box replacing another.
He did tell me that, “all she’s concerned about is her numbers and she doesn’t want to lose a box.”
Ah, a supervisor more concerned about meeting her numbers and making her “Save Team” look good instead of keeping a customer, who has been with them since January 4, 2000, happy. How many times have you run into one of those?
The rep suggested that I put a reminder on my calendar to call back in 31 days to cancel the service on the broken box to avoid the early termination fee.
I thanked the rep for being honest and we chatted for a few moments about how lousy his supervisors are. He agreed that he was not happy with either of their decisions and he felt that if he were empowered, this would have had a happy ending.
Every customer service experience should have a happy ending. That’s what “customer service” is all about. If you can’t provide a experience that makes your customer say “wow,” well….. good luck.