It's a great lesson in customer service and perfect to kick off the new year. Plus, Kmart is just the company of fools to provide an example of what not to do!
Here's the short version scenario:
I haven't been in a Kmart in years. In fact, I'm not sure where there's even a store down here. However, we got a request for the newest baby in the family, and it was a particular kind of play table. Sheila found it online at Kmart.com and ordered it on December 4. It was plenty of time to get it here for a Christmas gift and then get it to our family in Ohio.
Well, it never came. Calling on or about the 21st, I spoke to Kmart's "top notch" customer service people in the Philippines. They were useless, but suggested I wait one more day since they did show a UPS label had been printed. The next day I called again and, this time got lucky with an office in Alabama. The rep there couldn't tell me anything either, but we were at least able to cancel the order.
I then filed a protest with American Express, which they promptly put through. Kmart had charged the order to Sheila's card the minute it was placed. This past Saturday I got a letter from Amex telling me the full credit hadn't been put through due to Kmart.com charging for one of three reasons - a partial return, restocking fee or a shipping and handling fee. Remember, they never shipped the product!
This is hardly a serious challenge, but there are some great lessons for every business owner.
Great service is one of your strongest tools in building your brand. When you do have a challenge, work to fix it as quickly as possible. Deliver things on time, and as promised. Most important of all, remember you'll never lose if you exceed client expectations.
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