Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Little Bitching.

In a letter commenting on a Harvard Business Review article on customer service, the president of a consulting company specializing in costumer service commented that only emotionally satisfied customers increased their spending because “The reason is quite simple. Customers expect satisfactory customer service, so providing it does not translate into increased loyalty and value.”

But that’s wrong. We don’t ‘expect satisfactory customer service’. We hope for it, we wish for it, but what we expect -- is to be disappointed.

My wife ordered 4 filters from Sam’s Club online. When the box arrived, the exterior box was undamaged, but inside one of the filter boxes was ripped open and the filter damaged, and another filter box was filthy dirty. In other words, the filters were in this condition before they were packed.

I called Sam’s Club customer service on December 30th and spoke to a representative who told me she would have the two bad filters replaced.

Then, a couple of weeks later the Sam’s Club representative called about the filters. She said she spoke to the vendor and I needed to talk to the vendor. I said, “Vendor? what are you talking about, we ordered these from Sam’s Club.” After a brief discussion I suggested that she connect the two of us to the vendor and we resolve the issue together. She asked if she could put me on hold while she made the connection. I sat there on hold as long as I could which was an unusually long time but then had to run an errand and after 20 minutes I disconnected. I received no call back.

That evening I wrote a letter to Brian Cornell, the CEO of Sam’s Club letting him know what happened and suggesting that I should not have to talk to a vendor if I order from Sam’s. Otherwise, I should just order from the vendor, what value does Sam’s add in that case, it just adds a layer of complication that I don’t need. I asked that he please have someone resolve this little problem.

That was three weeks ago. I’ve heard nothing.

A Costco just opened up down the street...perhaps...

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