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February 20, 2012

A Tale of Two Orders, Part I

Great customer service can save the sale when things go wrong.

Last month I ordered an item, I'll call it Item X. I eagerly awaited its arrival.

In a couple of days the seller e-mailed that she would not be able to send Item X right away. It turned out to be slightly damaged when she pulled it out of storage to pack it up for shipping.

Worse still, her supplier would not be able to send another Item X for one to two weeks. (Item X is not mass-produced and the supplier already had plenty of orders to fill.)

Was I disappointed?


Did I leave negative feedback?


Why not?

Even though a double whammy happened—an item damaged in storage and a backlog at the supplier—the seller did everything right:

  • She told me what had happened right away.
  • She was polite and she apologized.
  • She told me when the supplier would be able to send another Item X.
  • She asked if I would prefer to wait or cancel the order.
  • She offered a different, more expensive item, but at the same price.
  • When Item X did finally arrive (I decided to wait for it), it was perfect!

Buyers want great stuff and great service, but we know that every single order cannot go perfectly from start to finish. An order shouldn't go sideways very often, but when one does, customer service makes all the difference.

Next month
A Tale of Two Orders, Part II: Lackluster customer service can lose a customer forever


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