NOW HIRING: Customer Service/Lie Detector

I recently purchased 2 necklaces from a well known provider whose primary model is home based sales reps. Because home based trunk shows don’t typically work for my schedule, I bought the pieces online, directly from their website, rather than through a rep. Their merchandise is premium priced costume jewelry, good quality and current style. 

One necklace is lovely and I wear it often. The other is a poor design, as it is forever tangled, whether I’m wearing it or it’s sitting on a hook in my closet. It was beautiful online and I’ve tried repeatedly to enjoy wearing it, but find myself constantly fussing to unravel it. The distraction is unwelcome and, frankly, I need my hands for other purposes. 

Yesterday, I contacted customer service about returning it and was told, since 30 days had passed, I’d only be entitled to a store credit, rather than the refund I wanted. I asked to be escalated to a supervisor to plead my case. 

When the supervisor called me back, he asked if there was any reason I felt that their policy should not apply to me. I told him that I wanted to be completely honest, had spent no time in the hospital nor any other condition which prevented me from pursuing this earlier.  But I did still want the refund because I felt the item was flawed and believe they’ve likely received other customer complaints on this item. This strategy failed and he just repeated the same, “why shouldn’t our policy apply to you” response back to me. 

I amped up my story just a bit, adding that I did like their merchandise and would likely return for future purchases, but I wanted to have a good first purchase experience and was giving him the opportunity to provide that to me.  Again, failure. Again, he déjà vu’d me. 

Then, in a thoroughly exasperated tone, I told him I’m a working mom, with teenagers at home, have a new job, travelling 50% and couldn’t find the time to track down the original box, receipt and customer service number to make this call any sooner. “Hold a moment please” followed by, “please check your email for refund notification and shipping label to return item for full refund.”  

I’m happy with the result, but it was a bad customer service experience that I will remember and will probably share with friends. I gave him the chance to make it easier and more pleasant and 3x he failed. I could’ve just lied upfront and  it would’ve been faster for me. 

Customer service is one of the single fastest growing job descriptions today. With the explosive rate of online commerce, that can only continue. How your front line is handling your customer complaints has everything to do with repeat business. 

Recreating the wheel is hard. Far easier to keep the ones you’ve got. So give em love when they seek it. Or at least, top notch customer service. 

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About Melanie M. Morris
Broker of Trust and Authenticity I'm really a sales executive, but I'd rather identify with these ideals rather than to simply say...I'm a seller.

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