At some point we all experience customer service snafus. Whether it is a small slip up like no greeting as I walk into a business or an egregious error like mishandling defective merchandise, the reaction (both mine and that of the business) is what matters most. Can a bad customer experience be redeemed? Is it even possible to repair a soured relationship with a customer? When is it too little late?
Being brand loyal, I am reluctant to give in after one bad experience. I give people an opportunity to correct mistakes before writing them off completely. Probably, I give more chances than most would or should.
the tale of two watches.
I have a thing for watches and have several to choose from. Because I am fairly tall (5’8″) I gravitate towards big chunky timepieces.
2011 I bought a Michael Kors watch. I adore his designs and the over sized funky watches suit my personality perfectly. This one had a clear acrylic band with a crystal rimmed bezel. It went with everything and I enjoyed wearing it until one of the crystals fell out. The horror! It had only been a few months since purchasing it.
Long story short (read the post if you desire more details) I would not wear this watch with missing crystals so I sent it back for a replacement bezel. All of this happened while I was crazy busy working and in grad school. A few months ticked by (haha pun intended) before I realized I hadn’t received my watch back.
sands of time…
I don’t give them all the blame because I forgot about it for awhile. However, when I visited the store for help, I received none. I also got no help when trying to contact the service center.
Eventually, I gave up. Life is too short to be chasing around after a missing watch.i simply would not buy a Michael Kors watch again.
that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy his handbags though
Did I mention I still love Michael Kors purses? That’s another story (have several of these too) for another post, on another day. A few weeks ago, I was magically transported into the Michael Kors Outlet store in Sparks, Nevada. I was innocently peeking at the handbags when I found one I couldn’t live without.
Stop laughing already! It is true that they all know me by name, but I swear it was innocent enough. After handing Jessica (sales associate) my credit card, I once again explained my tale of the lost watch. Telling her I moved on, she offered to email the service center and see what she could do.
Truthfully, I didn’t keep my hopes up as I had been disappointed in the past. Checking email the next day, I spotted a note from Jessica regarding the watch. Eagerly, I opened the email and read the news. As expected, my watch was lost somewhere in the USPS. Impossible to track a full year later, Michael Kors offered to credit me towards a new watch.
yay! another excuse to shop!!
Giddy with excitement, I immediately began searching their site for a suitable replacement. Trust me, it was not hard, as his
designs are fabulous and I would have been happy with anything from his new collection. After choosing my top 3 (OK, it was 10) I called the service center, got it ordered and waited for it to turn up.
One week later, a box bearing the Michael Kors label arrived at my house. My new watch is beautiful and I couldn’t be happier with the service I received. Life and the universe were again in sync and balanced.
lesson learned; it’s never too late to do the right thing
Don’t think that because you screwed something up, you can’t fix it. A loyal customer will not slink away in silence. If I remained bitter, I never would have resolved the issue. Worse yet, Michael Kors would not have had the opportunity to make it right.
What is your reaction to customer service missteps? Do you walk away, get pissy, or give them the chance to correct their errors? Share your thoughts and stories.