I recently purchased a game that I wanted to check out. My intention was to sell off some of the pieces and end up with a limited number — like nine or ten out of fifty — to use to check out the game. I recently have had success selling all but the most valuable pieces from a similar game set. I actually made a small profit plus I was able to add a few of the pieces that would cost about $20 each in a hobby shop if purchased separately.
When I received the set, I noticed that it had a minor flaw. I decided to contact the manufacturer to inquire if all of the pieces that I received were correct because it appeared that I had been given slightly different pieces than the ones I had expected. In addition, one piece was missing and instead they had included three smaller pieces. It really wasn’t a big deal, but I was thinking that maybe there were some minor errors with some of the other pieces that I received. I decided to call their customer service line to correct the order since I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to do so.
I explained to the man what I received and I simply wanted to confirm that everything else in the set was fine. We talked about the set and my pieces. He felt that everything was in order except for the one piece. He took down my address and said they would send out a new one and I should expect it within seven business days.
I didn’t really think much about it. I assumed I’d receive the missing piece and my set would be complete. I explained the events to my wife and thought aloud that maybe I would get the entire plastic tree, or sprue as they call it, that the piece was on. My wife laughs at me when I think of things like that. Then she said, “hey since you are being all customer service oriented today, how about calling about this cheese.”
I had picked up some cheddar cheese from Kraft at a warehouse club. When she opened the package it was moldy. I looked at the date of expiration, which was not for another three months and found a phone number on the package. I called and explained the problem. The customer service representative advised me that cheese that is still sealed but moldy like that is normally the result of improper handling by the shipper or the grocer. She then proceeded to get my address and said they will send me some coupons and a reimbursement check. I was pleasantly surprised as I did not expect that after she firmly placed the blame on the store or the deliverer. So now I am waiting for a refund check and coupons to buy more Kraft cheese. That is the power of good customer service.
The next day, I received an email from the game manufacturer, which included a tracking number for my shipment. I clicked the link and it showed the target date of delivery to be the very next day. Even though they had indicated it would take up to seven business days to receive the missing part it was due to arrive in just two days.
I relayed this information to my wife and she said that is was great that I had made a few calls and was getting such wonderful service. The next day I received a much bigger box than I expected, one that was way too big to just be the one part that I was missing. My wife said maybe they did send the entire sprue. I shook the box like a small child and it rattled with the distinct sound of multiple parts.
The company had sent me the entire game as a replacement. I checked the packaging slip and it listed the suggested retail price of the game as $50 and my total was $0. It is awesome. I received much more than I thought I would and I am sure glad that I decided that it could not hurt to call.
Many times when something minor goes wrong, we do nothing about it. We’re just too lazy or we think that the entire process of calling customer service is going to be a complete hassle. I’ve had that attitude in the past and I’m sure it has cost me a lot of money. There are a number of reasons that that I think it’s important to call customer service when something, even minor, goes wrong which benefit both you as the customer and the company as well:
1. It benefits you financially: If you paid for something and it isn’t correct, it means that you have wasted the money. You may have to replace the item later on down the road or end up not being able to use it at all. By contacting customer service, you help ensure that you get what you were supposed to get for the money your spent.
2. It benefits the company: Letting the company know that something is wrong with their product benefits the company (although they don’t always seem to understand this). It lets them know that there may be an issue they need to correct and helps them to solve it in a timely manner meaning less unsatisfied customers.
3. You get to test the company: You get the opportunity to see how the company reacts when something goes wrong. While the current issue may be a small one, that doesn’t mean a bigger and more important issue won’t arise in the future. You’ll get a good idea of how well the company’s customer service is and this information will help you make better spending decisions in the future.
4. The company can gain a life long customer: If the company gives good customer service, they are likely to gain a lifetime customer. On the other hand, the may lose a customer for life if they do a poor job. It is their chance to show what they are really made of.
5. You receive satisfaction: You get the satisfaction of knowing that you took the right steps to resolve the issue and didn’t just let it go even though it may have been easier to do so. Contacting customer service is a good habit to get into, especially if you can approach each exchange without expectations, but as a way to learn more about the company you are dealing with so you can make more informed choices on your purchases in the future.
Image courtesy of Matt Watts