Why does an issue have to reach epic proportions before a solution that was requested from the beginning and could have been implemented immediately when the problem first arose when the company or person who caused the problem was contacted?
It seems in this day and age the larger the company the more the problems and their customer service albeit great is not at times helpful.
I would never dream of trying to upsell a customer when they are frantically experiencing recurrent issues. I couldn’t imagine saying to Customer Bob after they wrote asking where their order was “Well, that happens sometimes, perhaps next time you should consider purchasing Express shipping. If you need any more help… just let me know.”
In this circumstance Customer Bob likely would have opened a claim with Paypal and perhaps began bad mouthing me on the internet about something that I have no control over which in this case is postal shipping times.
What I do write when a concerned Customer Bob writes to me asking where their parcel is when it is well within my allowed time frame for delivery or why it’s taking so long to arrive, is:
Hi there (Name of Customer)
Thank you for writing. I shipped your order First Class Regular Mail via Canada Post on date XX and it usually takes about X to X weeks for an order to arrive to where you live in the United States from where I live in Canada from the date of shipment. Arrival time depends on how long your order takes to pass through international customs. And please rest assured, that if your order does not arrive at the end of five weeks I will most certainly do one of two things for you; refund your order in full or ship another (name of product) to you.
Thus far all 1300 plus orders I’ve shipped out have arrived safely to their final destinations around the globe. Knock on wood.
Please do write when your order arrives or if you have any other concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.
The blog – http://jessicadoyle.com
I have never received an angry response with this email and thus far (touch wood again) all orders that I’ve shipped out arrive within the time period that I stated. I’ve had one return, one exchange, one damaged item from shipping which I promptly replaced and even a couple of cancellations but overall things are very good and that is due in part to listening to the customers concerns and putting yourself in their shoes. I used the USA and Canada as an example as it seems to be the most common one that I encounter. Feel free to use the email response above that I write to customer’s with or to alter it for your own needs.
And one of these days shipping between Canada and the USA will not take so long. Are you listening Canada/USA customs?
This post was spurred onwards by a rolling recent event that I’m experiencing with my host. They finally made it right with me today and moved the databases for my sites to a less crowded MySQL smartgrid. I don’t understand why things had to get so out of control that I had to tweet about it. I also don’t understand how upselling another service to me would fix the problem when the problem shouldn’t exist in the first place.
I understand that sites goes down and I know that things can go amiss at times. And a good point about my host… my site was infected with malware a while back and I researched what the malware was and found the solution to remove it but as I didn’t understand how to run Shell commands I wrote to my host with my research and they performed the command line for me which is in turn cleaned my site. I run a business too and expect things to crazy at times but 200 times was a little too much 😉
I’m doing my best on my end to learn everything I can about running two sites. I’m looking into W3 Super Cache and also looking into hosting alternatives. Sadly, though the caching won’t help at all if my sites are down or timing out on the server end. I monitor my sites on Pingdom. So should you.
In the end there is nothing wrong with upselling after the initial problem is fixed. And when a problem is fixed do say thank you. BUT Never upsell from the beginning when there is an existing problem that is not the customer’s fault. I get customer’s who write occasionally asking from the beginning before they place an order if I can Express ship their order. I write them back explaining how much extra it will cost them and the difference in delivery times and if they agree to my terms and pay the cost, I do ship their order Express.
Today is the first day in 30 days that I have not received an alert from Pingdom that my sites were timing out or down. Thank you MediaTemple for making things right with me. I may consider the grid container in the very near future. I’m weighing my options.