I wanted banana nut cake. But as I bit into the cake I quickly realized it was something different. Carrot cake. I looked back at the package the cake came in, and there it was - a sticker that said banana nut. Now I like carrot cake, but I had no desire for it after having gotten my mouth all watered up for banana nut. As a result, I wasn’t going to be eating any carrot cake any time soon. So back to the store it went for a refund. And to my complete surprise, Giant grocery store came through and delighted me. Because I was unsatisfied with my purchase, not only did I get a refund, I got double the refund. It’s no problem Giant - I’ll overlook the error in labeling! Thanks for the delight and caring about me as a customer.
Contrast that with the experience I had with a flower cocktail ring I just bought. Within a week of buying it, one of the stones in it fell out. While the missing stone wasn’t visible to others, it was to me. So I looked on the receipt and noticed that I could return the product within 30 days should something happen to it. So I decided to send it back to get a new ring. Unfortunately, I not only had to pay for the shipping costs to return, but I also had to pay a “processing” fee. Ugh. I did it reluctantly. A few weeks later, I received a new ring. No note from the company. No, “we’re sorry that a stone fell out of your new ring.” No nothing. And no more purchases from me. Even though the company did replace the ring, it felt like they just honored a policy that they had, rather than actually caring that I was dissatisfied in any way.
Should you ever not meet your customer’s expectations, when it is brought to your attention make sure that you care. Make it right with the customer, and do it quickly. But don’t just stop there. Make her remember what you did and how you made them feel as a result of the complaint, rather than why they complained.
With Giant, I’ll long remember that they gave me double the refund and that made me feel good. That far outweighs the fact that I received the wrong cake. With the ring company, I’ll remember that I had to pay both shipping and a processing fee to return a defective ring, and I wasn’t happy about it.
Don’t be like the ring company. Make sure your customers have a positive memory about your business, even when you mess up.