The Truth Hurts

Truth.jpeg

So I purchase some nutrition bars from a prominent online store. 


If you click on 2 boxes (12 bars each), they charge you $30. 


But if you look over a little on the website page, they have 24 bars for $24. 


I contact customer service and start chatting with them about this. 


Basically, I wanted the difference refunded to me. 


Surely, not a lot of money, but more the principle of it. 


They are charging 2 different amounts for the very same thing! 


The lady on the other end of the chat asks me to forward her the link for the product. 


I comply. 


She says, “You see that link is 2 boxes for $30!”


I say, “No, that’s just the primary link to the product, and it has 2 different prices for basically the exact same thing.”


She says, “On that link you sent it has 12 bars x 2, which is different than ordering 24 bars!”


I’m thinking, Oh really!  What math class did she take in elementary school???


And then for good measure, she adds socking one to me:

“Truth Always Hurts!”


At this point, I couldn’t believe my chat “ears”.  


Aside from her “truth” not being “the truth” in any universe…


I was in shock and said something like “How dare you.  You are incredibly rude.  Put your supervisor on.”


She says: “Well, my supervisor will tell you the same thing!”


I repeated once more: “Please let me speak to a supervisor.”


Finally when I got the supervisor, who was a more normal, reasonable person, and also could do simple arithmetic, she immediately apologizes issuing me a refund. 


She asked if there was anything else she could assist with.


I asked, to confirm again, “Are you a supervisor?”


She responded affirmatively. 


I asked her to review the chat with the prior customer service rep and asked, “Is this how you want your company represented to your customers?”


Needless to say, she was flabbergasted by what she saw from their outsourced “customer service” representative.


She assured me she was flagging the chat for review by management and that this outrageous behavior from this company representative would be addressed. 


To me, it is amazing that our companies not only outsource the manufacture of our vital goods, but they also outsource customer service to people that barely seem to speak the language, can’t do basic math, and have zero customer service skills. 


This does not bode well for American competitiveness–in the age of Coronavirus or at any other time. 


I believe that this truth hurts much more than any company’s horrendous customer service. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Airplane Art

Why aren’t airplanes really decorated like this?


It would be so much more fun to get on a plane that displayed some pizzaz!


All we hear about are plane delays, cancelled flights, mishandled baggage, and involuntary bumping.


Oh, and don’t forget the ever more cramped seating and the entertainment system that is habitually broken.


How does this industry get away with all this crap? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Now Dat’s Customer Service

This was a sign that talks to a real customer service orientation:


“Suppose we refund your money.


Send you another one without charge.


Close the store.


And have the manager shot…


Would that be satisfactory?”


Actually no, that’s not good enough!


While you’re at it…


Bow down and kiss my filthy feet.


Flagellate yourself with 40 lashes using a wet noodle. 


Give me a complimentary supply of whatever the crap is I was buying for life.


And after you shoot the manager, hang him from the tallest tree for everyone to get the message.  LOL


Now dat’s customer service!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Give Me That Fridge Handle

So we got a new stainless refrigerator. 


A cause for celebration!


It get’s delivered and afterwards, I notice that the door handles are installed unevenly. 


I call the store and they agree to send their guys out to us again to fix it. 


Well, the handles were on the wrong doors and they switch it so that now they look even, but in the process, they break the handle on one of the doors so that only the top is attached to the door and the bottom is blowing in the wind (and ready to scratch the door). 


With this second installation debacle, I call the store again and not a happy camper!


Three calls later, the store agrees for me to come over and literally take the handle of the fridge on the showroom floor to replace my broken one–which I promptly did!


Third times the charm…no more broken door handle. 


As for the one in the store, let’s just say you can only open the left door for now.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Selling By Customer Stereotypes

Saw this displayed on the wall inside a Free People clothing store…


It categorizes their female shoppers into 4 types:


1. Candy (hearts): Sweet, girly, flirty, whimsy, and femme  


2. Ginger (cherries): Sexy, confident, edgy, attitude, and mysterious


3. Lou (baseball): Cool, tomboy, laid back, tough, minimal


4. Meadow (sunshine): Flowy, bohemian, embellished, pattern, worldly


So this is how they stereotype their customers “to be helpful”?


Interesting also that they don’t see that people can be complex with: multiple traits that cross categories or even in no category at all.


Moreover, people can have different sides to themselves and reflect these in different situations. 


Perhaps in an effort to market and sell more, what they’ve done is reduce people to these lowest common denominator of idiot categories.


And what makes this worse yet is that it seems to be based just on snap judgment of how someone looks coming into the store and all the biases that entails. 


How about we look at people a little more sophisticated than this and treat them as individuals, with real personalities, and not just as another empty label?  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Say YES!

Really liked this sign on my colleague’s desk.


It says:

Start With Yes


I remember an old boss who used to say:

Don’t make me get through no to get to yes. 


The idea as another colleague put it is to:

Keep a smile on your face and your focus on the customer; everything else takes care of itself. 


Basically, it’s all our jobs to make sure that the customer’s needs are being met. 


That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to differentiate between requirements and desirements or that we need to deliver the yacht in the first go around.


As a 4th colleague put it:

The customer is in the water. They want the yacht. But I can give them a boat. It gets them to where they want to go, and they no longer need to swim. We can work our way up to a yacht.


Good analogy analogy and good things to keep in mind for customer service excellence! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Dumb Socks

So have you ever gone to the shoe store, but you forgot to wear socks. 


Well, this is what you get to try-on shoes.


These absolutely crappy, thin, brownish wades of disposable nylon socks. 


How completely unappealing–especially piled up like this and looking like they are getting reused again and again. 


The try-on socks look shitty, feel shitty, and don’t help you try-on anything, because they aren’t the same density or texture as regular socks. 


Talk about penny wise and dollar foolish–if the store won’t even invest in a proper pair of socks for their customers, then how much do they value their business? 


How about an intelligent shoe store with a little class that actually has some real pairs of socks for their customers, and when you’re done they send them out to the cleaners or maybe even let you keep the pair if you buy the shoes!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)