Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How I messed up my relationship with customer

Recently I read Jack Mitchell’s book “Hug your customers”. I like it, but then I didn’t know I need the new ideas I got from the book, so soon.

Anyway, I want to share my expensive, but precious lesson with you.

Some time ago a lady from US ordered a shrug from me. Everything was fine: I completed the custom order, shipped the parcel to her and thought it’s done.

Suddenly my life at work and home went crazy, other things and people besides knitting needed my attention. I decided to stop knitting for a while and focus on more important cases. I don’t want to stop on it for longer, but it’s not important in this story too.

Big was my surprise when I found two months later e-mails from disappointed client, who didn’t receive her shrug, and Paypal, who tried to resolve the complaint. As I didn’t answer on time, Paypal froze my account.

Lesson 1 learned:
For Paypal, always use e-mail address you read regularly! I had the address mostly for junk mails and it was a mistake! From 600 non-important letters I didn’t find the few I needed.

As it was never happened to me before, I thought parcels wouldn’t get lost.

Lesson 2 learned:
They do get lost. Rarely, but they do! Keep all the checks and be sure your client gets what she ordered.

I contacted immediately Paypal and the client. With Paypal it was harder case, but the client was incredibly understanding.
Despite of time passed, she still wanted the shrug, I made another and sent to her with few free gifts (a shawl and handmade chocolate).
A week later she got it, informed Paypal and they opened my account.

And what is the best thing about this story? Client was happy, satisfied and fully surprised by the free gifts. That’s what “Hug your customers” is all about: cross over their expectations and surprise them (positively).

Lesson 3 learned:
Clean up your own mess. Even if time is passed, it’s possible to get a good solution. People understand you, if you talk honestly, explain the situation and show your will to resolve things.

What’s surprising is that she wants to order more from me. I didn’t expect it, but because of the positive outcome she is ready to work with me in the future.

You know, yesterday I got the e-mail from her and I almost started to cry for happiness.
And now I’m going to buy yarn for knitting her next jacket.

If you haven't, read "hug your customers".
The key rule is simple: be friendly, understanding and never think something is obvious.


cat said...

A great lesson learned. Thanks for popping in at my place - I see your name is Anniki - The Lil' Miss' real name is Annecke and my mom is Annetjie - I think pronounced the same as yours. You work is beautiful.

Marie-Jolie said...

Hi there! I thought I'd say thanks for leaving a comment on our French Picnic blog, and then I came here and discovered that you are a knitter! I'm a knitter, too, and you can see my knitting blog here at:

Betty said...

Anniki, Thank you so much for your kind comments.
Please keep them coming!!
I am GLADLY following you:)
You got another follower.
P.S.PLEASE come back!!!

{lorelai♥lette} said...

It definitely sounds like a book everyone should read!


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Lady SUnflower