I Almost Left Negative Feedback Today
Here's how you turn negative customer experiences into business rewarding ones.
How Carlino Guitars Turned me Into a Repeat Customer
It's not very often that I find myself in a situation where I'm tempted to bring down a business's online rating. Today, was (almost) one of those days.
This year, I've done a majority of my holiday shopping online. It's easy. I order a great gift on the cheap and it shows up at my doorstep. Over the past few months I've found myself ordering more and more off of eBay. If you've ever ordered from the auction site before, you're well aware of the sometimes horrible "customer service:" slow shipping, poor English speaking reps, and just all around sub-par service.
I did a ton of my ordering in early December to be sure I'd get everything in time for Christmas. I almost expect long shipping times so not having received one of my orders (a guitar strap for my sister) wasn't a huge deal. It's only the 18th and they indicated I'd have it in time.
Then, I got the email: Your Order Has Shipped.
Wait. It just now shipped!? It's the 18th. This thing should've already been in the mail on some sort of long delay USPS class. Looking at the order page it showed I was supposed to have received it by the 11th.
Now, I'm pissed. Negative feedback time!
But...I'm working and don't have time to screw around with reviews so I put that negative dent in their rating off until the evening.
Not 30 minutes later, I receive an email from PayPal: one of my orders had been refunded. It came with the message:
we are sending you the strap for Free due to the delayed shipping of an order to us from Franklin, sorry about the delay, the strap just came in and we are shipping it to you today, and refunding your full amount
Now, I'm extra happy.
Turn a Negative Customer Experience into an Overwhelmingly Positive One
Not only did they apologize for the delay in shipping, they refunded my purchase in full, including shipping without any effort on my part. I hadn't even had the chance to write in and complain or negatively review the company.
At this point, I'm so impressed by their incredible customer service, I go from angry buyer to definite future buyer.
I'd like to think I'm rational. I understand that mistakes happen and businesses aren't always going to have control over the process of receiving product from a distributor. I also know that if this were a habit of Carlino Guitars, they'd be out of business by now.
If I had to call them and ask for money back, even if they obliged without hesitation, it wouldn't have had the same effect as: "Hey. We know you didn't ask us for it, but we're sorry we couldn't keep our promise with delivery. Please, accept this refund."
To me, this shows a true commitment to their customers. This level of service is what turns a one time buyer, into a loyal customer (for all the other guitar gifts I end up buying my sister...). When I did go back to leave a review, there it was, an impressive 100.0% positive feedback score. For an eBay seller with over 2000 reviews, that's incredibly impressive and I understand how they're able to maintain that now.
Whenever you find yourself in a pinch or unable to uphold a promise to one of your own customers, consider what Carlino Guitars did for me. So you throw away $13, but you're going to find that what could have been an irate buyer is suddenly an overly grateful one. They will come back.
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