Two weeks ago I released an episode of The Know, Like & Trust Show on delight. Specifically, how a few companies, large and small, are using the concept of delight to increase their client experience (and what you as a very small business can do to learn from them).
Little did I know, I’d experience two not-so-delightful customer experiences so soon after.
Here’s the stories and the lessons I’ve learned. The biggest lesson applies to all businesses, online or not.
The first story is about the toiletries company. I order a ton–I mean, a lot a lot–of stuff from them each year. And this year one of my sisters wanted a body scrub for Christmas so I added it to my December 1st order.
The expected arrival date? December 7th. By the end of the 8th it hadn’t arrived and tracking said it never even made it to FedEx. This is the second time this has happened in three months.
Here’s the pickle: my family in California is celebrating the holidays early on the 18th this year so for me to receive the item, wrap it, and send it I needed to receive it ASAP–and I told this to the CSR rep, that I needed it overnighted so I could meet my own deadlines.
They refused. They sent it ground. They refunded my $10 shipping fee.
I bought my sister a new present on Amazon, drop shipped it to my mom and asked her to wrap it instead.
The original scrub finally arrived yesterday… wait for it… damaged.
As a customer, I doubt this company’s care and quality at this point. They certainly don’t care about hitting their guarantees, nor are they taking special care to fix their problems. It’s a trust loss.
My former email service provider takes the stage for our second lesson.
When I first started offering digital products with FB ads, I needed a system that automated the delivery, and the tech stack I chose required me to upgrade my account with my email company–paying twice what I previously paid.
For six months I’ve been back and forth with them, problem after problem. Their basic response was usually, “not our problem” or “no, we don’t have a suggestion on how to fix that.”
Last month was the final straw when they closed a support ticket and said there wasn’t a problem on their end, they don’t know why clients aren’t getting delivery emails. In this very exchange, I specifically said I was extremely frustrated with their service, having paid for six months for functionality I was not receiving.
This month I finally did something about it and moved.
Coincidentally, they also sent me an email, asking me to review them.
I wrote the review. It was fair and critical.
Here’s where the story takes a dive from just “kinda bad at customer service” to “wow, you asked for it.”
After I wrote the review, one of their agents reached out and (clearly not having read the review) thanked me and said,
Feel free to reach out at any time if there’s any feedback you’d like to share or if there’s anything we can do to make your experience even better. Thanks!
I responded that I felt the review said pretty much everything and then suddenly, a person actually paying attention got involved.
I’m currently in an exchange with that person, explaining why I don’t have the time to give them another chance after six months of poor service and brush offs.
The extra-special dig here is that this company had multiple opportunities to fix it, but various different CSR reps fell down on that job in their eagerness to close out support tickets. It took a public complaint to bring attention to a long-standing issue. And even now, they’re asking me to devote more of my time to fix the issue.
I know them, but like and trust are long gone.
Last week someone new followed me on Instagram and since I like to keep social media social, I checked them out.
I was saddened by what I saw.
It was a copywriter and I tend to like following writers, but this girl had incredibly low self-confidence. Every other post included a line like, “I’m no Insta-celeb, but you should…” or “I know I don’t have a ton of followers, but…”
Believe me, it was painful.
As an audience member, it made me feel she didn’t value her current followers at all. That somehow because she hadn’t moved beyond the token 200 or 400 followers, they didn’t count as people that were interested in her and what she had to say.
So I reached out to her. I let her know the self-deprecating posts weren’t landing well.
She didn’t respond with gratitude and that’s okay–she’s not ready to own her brilliance online yet.
I didn’t even have a chance to get to know her, though, because she’s putting up huge walls.
Her story combined with these customer service nightmares remind me there are incredible ways to delight our audience throughout their experiences with us. And at the same time, you can kill any goodwill or delight by failing your customers as these stories demonstrate.
All three stories bring one important lesson to the table.
Time is our most precious asset and especially for online service providers, that time gets pulled in myriad directions.
When an audience member–client or not–invests their time in you, make sure you honor that.
Honor each and every one of your followers and the attention they give you and you’ll see that pay off in a big way this coming year.