Customer Service Reflections

Customer service has been in the forefront of my mind lately, mainly because customers keep putting it there, so I thought I would share some thoughts. I know, you probably are thinking this is going to be a negative post but it’s not, it is very positive.

I am being told over and over again about how great my customer service is and people thank me all the time for “going out of my way” for them. Maybe it is because I am just a small business, one person operation type thing. Maybe it is because for years I worked in doctor’s offices and no matter how I felt, most of the time the patients felt worse and I knew that so I went out of my way to treat them nice. Maybe it is because I treat others like I would like to be treated. Maybe it is because I have had such rotten customer service from various businesses over the years. Maybe it is because I don’t know any better. Maybe it is because I am just trying to do what it is right. Maybe it is because all I am doing is helping someone else.

Or maybe it is all of the above?

Recently a gentleman emailed me and said he doesn’t like to pay online, he likes to send money orders. No problem I told him. I have several customers like that. He was surprised. The more we emailed I found out he was disabled and unable to get out much and he made beaded banners as gifts for people. Long story short, because he placed a fairly good sized pattern order, I cut him a little break on the patterns and postage. Then he placed a good size beaded banner rods and end caps order and I threw in a free spool of thread. He was again surprised. I told him I knew he was going to be a good customer and I knew he had troubles and what I was doing wasn’t much really, but just wanted to help him out a little. He emailed to me:

“Thank you. You have been so patient and I appreciate that you will go out of your way in what you do especially for people who are at a disadvantage of being disabled who can’t get out much.”

I really didn’t do that much but it meant a lot to him.

I recently had another customer who was from Canada. No matter what I tried doing, the shipping was so much compared to shipping within the U.S. She knew I made a couple trips to the Post Office trying to figure out the best way and then also checked about shipping UPS for her. I couldn’t see her having to pay so much for shipping and in the end I saved her a total of $2 on her order of rods and beads. She wrote:

“It’s been a pleasure…I look forward to doing more business with you. You are the first that has ever gone out of their way to find the cheapest rate for me and for that I am grateful…..Thanks again!”

Again, not much extra work from my end and nothing more than what I would want someone to do for me, but it meant a lot to her.

The best part with both of these people is that I have gained customers who will be ordering quite a bit more (they have both told me this) as well as email buddies (I email with both of them on a regular basis now).

These aren’t the only customers that have commented on my customer service nor are they the only ones that have become friends as well as customers. I have a gal in Massachusetts who found me on a craft site I first sold on and she and I have become good friends. She as well as a few other customers are disabled or senior citizens and their checks come once a month. I understand that and have worked with several of them concerning their orders and payments. Why not? I am going to be there some day and I hope businesses afford me the same courtesy.

I had another lady that found my website because she was unhappy with the service she was receiving from another site. After a couple orders from me for beads and patterns she wrote:

“About a year ago I sent a check to ***** to join the pattern club, I included a copy of the order from the site. I never heard from them and emailed to see if they received my check, I NEVER heard back from them. I emailed them 3 times, they never had the courtesy to write back. I was going to send another check if they would tear up the first one if they ever did receive it. That is very bad business ethics! I really appreciate your friendliness and excellent business know how!!”

Again, this customer and I email often now. All of these customers were anxious for updates regarding my recent surgery and I also inquire about their lives and how things are going. And from a business aspect, the great thing is that they keep ordering from me. These customers are just a few examples of many in the short time I have been in business and I guess that is why Beaded Banners by Bonnie keeps growing.

I just don’t understand why companies don’t want to give good customer service because it is obvious that just doing what is right with your customers comes back to you in many good ways.

I will end this with some of my recent Ebay feedback which shows again that providing good customer service whether it be answering questions, shipping promptly, good quality products, or going out of your way to help a customer is the best way to do business!

 

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