In last week’s blog post I mentioned that we are remodeling our 50-year-old weekend house in order to move there full time, and shared the customer service nightmare I experienced while renovating our kitchen. After attempting to install our appliances, we found out that all of the cabinet measurements were slightly off. When I called requesting that the contractor fix the problem, I was shocked by the berating and unprofessional way he handled it.
Unfortunately my encounters with poor customer service did not stop with the kitchen.
We needed flooring for two bedrooms in the house, so I headed to Lowe’s to pick out what we wanted and get it ordered. Within about 45 minutes I found this fabulous flooring that I really liked, it worked perfectly and looked great, so I went to purchase it.
It ended up taking the guy at Lowe’s two hours to contact the manufacturer and get the order processed! What started out as a fairly quick, productive trip ended with me feeling like I had wasted three hours of my life. It was ridiculous.
I was frustrated, but regardless, I paid $2,900 and we got the stuff ordered. The flooring was supposed to be there in five days, which was important because we have a big annual party at the house, and are on a bit of a deadline.
Five days go by and the flooring’s not in. A week later, my wife gets a call that the order never went through because the amount owed was actually $3,700 and Lowe’s had told me $2,900. I had spent nearly $3,000 on flooring that was supposed to arrive in five days, and a week later, when it’s still not processed, I’m being asked to pay even more?
My wife proceeds to give them a credit card for the additional 30%, and is told that they will have to cancel the initial order, and start a new order that would not be in until the following Wednesday or possibly Friday!
All in all it took 2½, almost 3, weeks to get the flooring, when it should have taken five days, and it cost $800 more than they originally told me. Plus, even after all of that, we had to go and pick it up, they didn’t deliver it. They made it extremely difficult to do business with them. Not to mention that every time I called they would put me on hold for 15 minutes. I knew exactly what I wanted, it should have been very simple, and it was like pulling teeth to get it.
The moral of the story is that if you tell your customer something, you have to live up to it. You should know every detail of the products/services you’re selling, and be familiar with your manufacturing/shipping capabilities, so that when you make a promise to a customer, you know it’s one you are going to be able to keep. Your customer expects you to provide them with correct information that you are able to follow through on. Everyone makes mistakes, but an $800 mistake in pricing shows a lack of product knowledge.
Secondly, don’t forget about your customer after making the sale. Simply getting someone to buy does not result in them becoming a lifelong customer. It’s your ability to deliver a solution, exactly the way you sold it to them, that builds customer loyalty and keeps them coming back for more.
Have you had a similar customer service experience? Come on over to my Facebook pageand tell me about it or tweet @matthybrid!