No Customer Service Skill . . .
While reading the latest issue on customer service, I was immediately reminded of a recent incident I had with someone selling on Ebay, which is where I am purchasing much of the inventory for my soon-to-be-opening online business.
I was looking for special gift boxes and during the course of my search, I ran across an auction that had such a strident and combative message concerning slow and non-payers, I was completely convinced NOT to bid on the merchandise in question, even though I wanted and needed what this particular business had to offer.
Since I felt that such a message was counter-productive to what the business was trying to accomplish, I dropped an email off to them explaining that I felt the message gave a negative impression, one that convinced me NOT to buy from them, and maybe they should see about couching their necessary warnings in a more positive and/or subtle way.
You can imagine my surprise when I received the following response from the manager: "Hahaha, that tells me one thing..........YOUR a slow payer or NON payer!!!!We don't want that type of business........ and thats why we TELL everyone!!!!
Please note that I have blanked out the name of the person who wrote the response, but otherwise the message is just as I received it. To say the least, it was quite obvious to me that this person had failed to check my feedback before replying because had the person done so, they would have known that a majority of my feedback reflects my policy of always paying quickly and maintaining good communication with those from whom I do make purchases.
However, the story doesn't end there, as I was rather offended by the response I received, which was juvenile, obnoxious, and something any half decent English teacher would suffer a coronary over, so I again emailed the person to let them know how I felt about it.
I told them I knew quite well they had not checked my feedback, as well as pointed out that even though I was "put off" buying from them on the basis of their original auction ad message, they still could have salvaged the situation with their reply had they not destroyed it by responding in such a manner. My initial email and their reply was in essence a "second chance opportunity" to convince me to become a customer and, indeed, I likely could have been swayed by a well-phrased & diplomatic response explaining why they were taking such a strong stance.
I am well aware of the problems Ebay and its sellers have when it comes to slow and non-payers, but I have often read well-written and even humorous slow and non-payer policies that do not offend me at all, though they may take just as strong a stance as the one I had problems with.
Sadly for them, this business chose to take another route and as such presented me with one of the worst cases of customer service I have ever experienced. As a result, not only will I not do business with them, but I will make sure that anyone I refer to Ebay knows to steer clear of this particular business as well.
I guess the important point I'd like to make here is that if one is given the sometimes rare "second chance opportunity" to gain a customer, then by all means DON'T WASTE IT! As hard as it may be for some to grasp, too few people these days will give you that second chance, as we all know there is nearly always somewhere else one can go for the services and/or products they need, and wasting that chance is the equivalent of throwing money away - something many of us cannot afford to do.
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