Thursday, March 20, 2014

We all make mistakes . . .


We apologize for the inconvenience. For some reason one of our employees did not fulfill the orders for this date so a lot of our customers did not receive their items, Thank you for your time.
We are very sorry about this issue, the best we can do is refund our customers and let them know about the mistake then hope that they can work with us because everyone makes mistakes but only some with go the extra mile to fix the problem. So again, we apologize. 

Would you like us to resend out your order?

This was the reply I received last evening after waiting over two weeks for an order to arrive. And, after the order did not arrive by the due date yesterday, I reached out to the seller to find out the issue, and also find out why the FedEx number they provided me was inaccurate. So, let's journey through this reply, and the email thread that followed. It was definitely an intriguing experience.

"We apologize for the inconvenience" -- it was a nice start, even though they did know my name yet failed to use it in the opening line.

The next line is very interesting to me -- let's blame it on some employee who for some reason failed to fulfill the orders, yet did not fail to send out an incorrect FedEx number and show online that the item had indeed shipped.

Then, "Thank you for your time." -- not even sure what to say about this one.

Next, they move back into apology mode with "We are very sorry about this issue, . . ." but then proceed to tell me the best they can do is to refund "our customers" (notice they do not even address it as an issue for me, instead they speak about all of their customers during that time frame).

So, after they refund the orders, they are then going to let the customers know about their mistake, and hope that the customers will continue to work with them because "everyone makes mistakes."

Now, I was fine so far, slightly confused, but fine. Then, I came to the next line that states, "but only some (will) go the extra mile to fix the problem."

Extra mile? Before someone can go the extra mile, they must go the first mile. Extra mile? Ok, let's see what that extra mile will be.

My request was simple -- "Can you ship my product overnight so it will arrive to me tomorrow?"

Below is the answer I received moments later:

That is fine, and sorry but fedex does not let us expedite our shipping since we ship out hundreds of items at once however we could try but we will not promise you overnight shipping.

FedEx does not allow them to ship overnight? So, the extra mile does not include someone grabbing the product off of the shelf, printing out an overnight label from FedEx, placing the label on the box, and then ensuring that it is part of the lot when FedEx arrives to pick up all of the other "hundreds of items." No, that would be too much to ask, because for them, that is far beyond the extra mile.

What was the extra mile?

I can promise you that the order will be process and shipped tonight and should be there no later than 3 days.

FedEx will evidently allow them to ship products within 3 days, but not overnight. And, I was originally promised the item would arrive yesterday, two weeks after my original order was placed.

They were correct when they said "we all make mistakes." We all do make them. And, it is a time when we can go the extra mile. In fact, when mistakes are made, sometimes they allow you to actually build more trust with your customers by the way you handle, correct, and solve those mistakes.

Most of the time though, those efforts fall short, and trust is eroded. The difference sometimes between building trust and eroding trust is a FedEx label.

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