Customer Service Gone Wrong: The Right Answer

Thursday, September 30, 2010 @ 10:09 AM
posted by mrscaz

I’m sure I’ve said it time and time again that customer service is my absolute passion. Great customer service gives me goosebumps head to toe. Bad customer service, or customer disservice, will make me so angry that it could very well ruin my day. Customer service issues do not just go away on their own. But some companies try to burry complaints under the carpet, hoping they will just go away. Trust me when I tell you, if you give me bad service, I will. not. go. away. Call me grumpy…

Bad Customer Service

On that note, I’m sharing with you a letter I wrote yesterday to a company that shall for now remain anonymous. Here it is:

I’m writing because I’m extremely frustrated with the lack of decent customer service I received this morning. This is what I explained to 2 different agents this morning;

Yesterday, I logged into my XYZ account and modified my order. I also added expedited shipping so that I could receive my order by the end of the week. The confirmation email sent to me this morning showed a repeat of the order I placed last month. That is not what I wanted and it’s not what I ordered.

I have been ordering from XYZ for over a year and a half now. I know how the system works. I know the difference between being logged in and ordering while not logged in. I’m telling you, the website is screwed up. When I saw that my order was a repeat of last time and not what I ordered, I logged in again and clicked on edit my order. The old stuff was there and what I had ordered was gone. I removed a couple items, upped the quantity on others, and then tried to add the missing items. The system wouldn’t let me add the items and kept trying to add it to the non-account shopping cart. I decided to call to see if I could get help getting my order fixed.

The first agent I spoke with was less than helpful. She basically told me that the order already processed and there was nothing she could do about it. I was frustrated because, as a business owner, I know customer service and you never leave a customer with no option but to put up with the system. I asked to speak with someone else.

The second agent I spoke with was more helpful to start with. She said that they would try to catch the order before it left the dock, but that there was no guarantee and that I would have to place another order to be processed tomorrow. Even with expedited shipping, I wouldn’t receive it until Monday. I explained to her that the system screwed up, I’m out of their product, and waiting until Monday was unacceptable. I also explained that there needs to be a change in the website so that when you log into your XYZ account, it takes you to another website so that there is no system errors. She said that there was a place on the website where I could leave suggestions. I wanted to tell her that she should take the suggestion and pass it on, or at least tell me she would. I didn’t, but I wanted to. The part that got me was that not only was she unwilling to help me figure out an alternative solution, but she actually said to me “Well, when you figure out what you want…” To which I replied “WHAT??? When I figure out what I want???? Excuse me?” She repeated herself and I hung up on her. Seriously, very POOR customer service. I was so upset by it, I needed some time to cool off before I could even talk to my husband about it without using cuss words.

My husband knows my strong feelings about customer service. As I stated before, I’m a business owner and I know customer service. As a matter of fact, I believe that good customer service is a requirement and excellent customer service builds customer loyalty. Without customers, you have no business. Nothing gets me fired up faster than great customer service. I’m the one who shouts from the rooftops when I receive great customer service. And I do the same when I receive bad customer service.

When my husband asked me what I would have done if I were the customer service agent, I told him “Well, first of all, I would have apologized for the ordering issue. I would have offered to take the order over the phone and have it shipped out immediately so that it would be received by the end of the week. Lastly, I would have requested that the incorrect order be shipped back when it arrives.” That is the right answer. What I received was poorly trained agents making excuses.

You see, I live by the phrase “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless” from the book Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back, and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffrey Gotimer. Not the best written book, but the title says it all, literally. Other good books I would suggest are; Who’s Your Gladys by Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos, and Perfect Phrases for Customer Service by Robert Bacal. The point is, get your people trained. Don’t let another customer slip through your fingers dissatisfied. It should never be that way.

You have a great program for ***** ****** and good products. But if I’m ever to decide to represent XYZ, I need to know that the people on the other side of the phone, your customer service agents, are going to help too. Keeping your customers happy should be your number one priority. It will buy you more than the cost of training your staff. It will buy you customer loyalty.

Also, please see if there is a way to fix the ordering system. I got screwed. I don’t want it to happen again and I don’t think anyone else should have it happen either.

Take care and God bless,

Michelle Cazella


So it’s been 24 hours since I sent the letter and NO RESPONSE! Can you believe it? They should have responded immediately. I gave them my phone number, they have my email address. But no…nothing. Not a word. There is NO EXCUSE for not responding.

I am so glad that next week, October 4-8, is Customer Service Week. I’m going to share tips for providing excellent customer service and even share my own experiences dealing with difficult customer service issues. Make sure you check back daily!

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One Response to “Customer Service Gone Wrong: The Right Answer”

  1. Stephen says:

    Wow… excellent letter!

    “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless” I’ve never heard that before, but I love it! It should be the heart and soul of any successful business.

    Like you, I am quick to praise great customer service. I love to mention it when I see it. I’ve even sent a couple of letters over the years.

    Unlike you, I don’t follow through when the experience is a negative one. I should, because I’m more likely to just let it eat at me, and nothing ever gets resolved like that.

    I look forward to seeing a follow-up post regarding their response… if they choose to…