Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Treating customers well

Just had to comment on a pleasant experience today with a large company. It’s not every day that you deal with a customer service department in a huge company that actually treats you well, solves your problem for you, or even gets back to you on the same day that you contacted them. All that happened to me today in my dealings with Amazon.com. I had purchased a DVD TV series for several hundred dollars back in May of this year, and it arrived in Oslo in late June when we were on vacation in Germany. Unfortunately, the post office in Oslo only allows the packages to sit in their buildings for fourteen days, so as we were on vacation for about this amount of time, the package was returned to Amazon before I had a chance to pick it up. I contacted Amazon in mid-July to register this incident as a return, and received an authorization number so that I could track the return process and when the package was logged in as ‘returned’. As it took almost eight weeks for the package to arrive in Oslo initially, I figured it would take about the same amount of time for it to arrive back in the USA from whence it was shipped. Due to other matters, I didn’t have a chance to check on the status of the return until today, three months after I first contacted Amazon. I wrote to the customer service department as the package had not been returned by me but by the post office, so that the return process was irregular. I received an email within a few hours from not one, but two customer service reps, within a few hours of each other. The first one wrote to me to tell me that the package had been returned and that it would be no problem for me to get my refund. The second one wrote to tell me the exact amount that would be refunded and how my Amazon gift card and credit card accounts would be credited. No fuss, no bother, no ‘please contact this or that person’ in a long chain of persons, no recriminations or criticism on their part concerning the irregular return process. Rather, personal emails to me that said that they understood that I was disappointed that I had not received my package and that the refund process was initiated and that it would not take long for me to receive my refund, respectively.

How great is this? This is a huge global company at this point in time, and yet they managed to get back to me the same day I wrote to them. Not only that, they managed to resolve the situation immediately. I am a regular and good Amazon customer and have been since the late 1990s. I have never had a customer service problem with this company, which in and of itself is pretty amazing. Their efficient, fast and friendly customer service ensures that I remain a loyal customer. Why is it that they manage this absolutely crucial aspect of running a business—providing excellent customer service--whereas other companies fail so miserably? At Amazon, it seems that the customer is always right. At least that’s been the case in my dealings with them. It just goes to show that just because a company is large doesn’t mean that we need to abandon all hope of being treated well as a customer. I hope their policy of treating the customer well continues. 

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