As is the case on most Sunday’s, my family and I order pizza. It’s been a tradition in Christine’s family for as long as she can remember. We stepped outside the box (you’ll get that pun later) this Sunday and ordered take-out from CiCi’s Pizza, which is not our usual place.
Our kids are young and don’t eat a lot, so one large pizza with an order of bread sticks is more than enough to fill us up. Christine left to pick up the pizza and came home with these two large boxes, each the same size.
The restaurant apparently told her they were out of the medium size breadsticks so she bought the large box.
I’m no genius, and it’s really not a big deal, but isn’t the difference between the medium and large a matter of a few more breadsticks in the large? In other words, even if you’re out of mediums, can’t you take a few out of the large box and call it a medium?
I really don’t get the reasoning behind this and to me (a customer) it makes it look like the restaurant just doesn’t care. If I’m missing the big picture (I’m no pizza expert after all), please tell me.
I hope you’re not doing this to your customers. It’s OK if you can reason your way in to or out of something, but don’t leave your customers wondering. They’ll come to their own conclusions and those conclusions probably won’t favor you.
Put yourself in the pizza guy’s shoes. Could you have come up with a medium order?
With retail stores turning in poor results all over the place, you don’t have to look too far to find a business posting great results. Zappos, one of the largest shoe retailers in the world, is one such company that posts amazing profits year after year.
Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos and was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of his latest book, Delivering Happiness (released to the public today). After enjoying every page, I can tell you the title has everything to do with their profits.
From the Zappos website, “We’ve been asked by a lot of people how we’ve grown so quickly, and the answer is actually really simple… We’ve aligned the entire organization around one mission: to provide the best customer service possible.”
In looking back on a bad customer service experience I had recently I found myself wishing that company had the same mindset that Tony has instilled in every one of his employees.
Last week I ordered a replacement watch band for a watch that I’ve had for years. I lost the screws so I needed a band that included them to hold it on. So I ordered the one pictured here from Optics Planet.
Today my order arrived. I eagerly opened the package to find the same strap I already have, minus the screws I needed. I already have this same band and only ordered another one because the picture showed that it comes with screws.
The Call to Customer Service
So I called customer service. I was placed on hold by a nice woman while she looked in to it. She came back to tell me that quality assurance is looking in to it. She was also nice enough to inform me that “Just because the picture shows the package comes with screws you can’t assume it comes with them.”
The Customer is Responsible
Apparently Optics Planet isn’t responsible for checking the accuracy of their product photos and puts that chore on their customer. I haven’t heard back from them yet but I have a feeling I’m out of luck. Which means I’ll be ordering from another company and never do business with Optics Planet again.
Who do you think should be responsible? Am I wrong?
Update: 5/14/10 It’s been over a week since this began. To Optics Planet’s credit, they did tell me to keep what they sent me and they’d send a replacement (after checking to see that it should indeed include screws). Guess what’s not included in the package again? Yup, screws.
By the way, wouldn’t it be great to have a social media presence monitoring online interactions like this so you can respond quickly?
It seems like many websites have moved completely to offering only contact forms on their websites and have removed all references to email addresses. With spam a rapidly growing problem, removing your email from your website seems like a good solution.
Contact Form or Email Address?
My friend Andy Traub uses a popular Wordpress plugin simply called Contact Form 7. It helps you create a custom form for your Wordpress website and gives you the ability to do pretty much what you like with it.
Some people create their own custom form and others use google docs to create a form for free. Still others list an email address on the bottom of every page of their website. Me? I use them all.
It depends on your goal. Forms give you a great way to keep spam to a minimum. You can create drop down lists and require people to chose why they’re contacting you. You can field speaking requests to your agent or speaker’s bureau. Product questions get sent directly to your support team. Consultation requests go directly to you.
What’s good for you might not be what’s best for your customers
I don’t work with too many companies who couldn’t use more business. I get a bit aggravated when I can’t easily click a button to contact a company and do business with them. Yes, listing your email on your website attracts spam. In my eyes however, it’s much easier to delete spam in my inbox than it is to find clients.
Everyone knows that Southwest is a bit different than just about every airline out there. Being different is likely one of the reasons for their success.
From the moment you step on board Southwest seems to actually care. Don’t you think it’s strange that’s all it takes to set the airline apart from the competition? But they don’t <em>just</em> care. You get the feeling that most of the employees care more about taking care of their customers than they do about the rules their company created for them to abide by.
Take this pre-flight announcement from a Southwest flight attendant for instance.
Is your company normal? Do you do things the same way because that’s the way they’ve always been done?
It’s time to ask what would make your business great and how you could serve your customers better. Then go out and do that!
<a href=”http://coachradio.tv/why-southwest-is-profitable-and-how-you-can-be-too”>Click here if you can’t view the video</a>
I interviewed my friend John G. Miller (author of QBQ, Flipping the Switch and Outstanding!) on yesterday’s radio show and the issue of breaking the rules came up.
Breaking the rules could get you a big raise or even a promotion. It could also get you fired. What’s the difference? Management.
I want people on my team who break the rules. I want them to disregard what our “organization” once thought was best and do what’s right for the customer. ”It’s not our policy” is never said at Lukas Coaching.
The same level of thinking will make you successful in your own business. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, didn’t play by the rules of book selling when he launched his company. He completely redefined it and now Amazon is the largest book seller in the world.
I actually mention in this video that you can’t. You can’t change what google shows and you shouldn’t even be worried about it. The truth will speak clearly. If bad reviews are truthful, they’ll always be there until you change your company. Only then will the good reviews overshadow the bad.
I’m not a huge fan of Wal-Mart but the company just built a new store near our house. It rocks! Seriously, it’s clean, has open space, the people are very friendly and my wife Christine has a new favorite store.
She’s been shopping there (groceries and all) for the past 30 days. Today, that [...]
When asked if I would rather have a customer who complains vs. one who never does, I’ll nearly always chose the complainer. Think about it. Have you ever been unhappy about something but just thought no one cares so why bother complaining? I know I have.
And when you’re unhappy enough not to complain to the [...]