Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

How to Avoid Alienating Customers

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I know this may come out as a bit of a whinge. However, it really saddens me to see organisations who talk a good game about customer service, and then make a real hash of it.

The story

Two weeks ago I ordered a sewing machine from a company called Lazada.sewing machine

According to their website – Lazada is Southeast Asia’s number one online shopping and selling destination.

Of course they are number one, because Amazon have no presence there. I suspect that is because there is no delivery or postal system that would meet the Amazon standard.

I ordered the machine for my partner in the Philippines, paid for it by credit card, and was given a delivery date.

However, a few days later, Lazada sent me an email cancelling my order because they had made a mistake with the price. I reckon the price difference was about £5 to £6.

I paid £140 for the machine, plus a transaction charge of £4.

Lazada refunded my credit card £134.

So I’m out of pocket £10 and no machine.

Okay, so this is starting to sound like a whinge, but bear with me.

My questions to people in business are

  1. Do you want customers to come back to your company and buy more products and services?
  1. Do you want customers to talk positively about your company to other people and encourage them to buy from you?
  1. Do you want customers to accept your prices and be happy to pay them?

Or –

  1. Do you want customers to never deal with your company again?
  1. Do you want customers to tell other people never to buy from your company?
  1. Do you want customers to give you hassle about your prices and be slow to pay?

We all make mistakes

In any business, mistakes will be made from time to time, but there is always the opportunity to Recover with the customer.

In this situation, Lazada should have said – ‘We messed up; we got it wrong, but we want the customer to be happy. So we will have to take a loss (if it is a loss bearing in mind the difference is £5) on this transaction. Just as long as the customer is happy and continues to deal with us.’

Business have to run at a profit, but you need customers and more of them.

Lazada send me emails every day trying to sell me more products; I dump them all.

A positive customer service story

I ordered 50 copies of my book, How to be a Motivational Manager, from Amazon in the UK. This was to be delivered to one of my clients in the Philippines.

25 of the books were delivered, but the other 25 disappeared. (What did I say earlier about distribution and postal service in that part of the world?)

I contacted Amazon, and they immediately sent another 25 books to the Philippines at no extra cost. (The missing 25 books eventually turned up back in the UK)

Now that’s what I call Recovery!

Amazon took action immediately, they took the risk that they might lose out on this, but they just wanted to keep the customer happy. As it turned out, they didn’t lose out, other than extra delivery charges, and they made me happy!

Lazada still don’t understand that, hopefully on day they will.

Alienating customers is too costly – you can avoid that by recovering well and building a positive relationship with your customer.

 

 

 
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Posted in: Customer service, Sales

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