Empathy is Free
More often than not, when people talk about their experiences with customer service departments, they note the disconnect between themselves and the service rep. How customers perceive the resolution process tends to differ from that of the company with which they've transacted. I've been on the receiving end of a few such unsatisfactory exchanges myself. Which is why I was delighted by the way in which RedEnvelope recently handled an AWOL shipment for me.
I have a tradition of pampering myself with a few aprés-Christmas gifts. After shopping for loved ones, I've built a demand to indulge myself that must be satisfiedand what better time to do so than when all the post-holiday sales are in swing?
I remembered some jewelry that had caught my eye in a holiday catalog from RedEnvelope. On Dec. 30 I decided to do a little online shopping, and found the pearl ring from the catalog, as well as a turquoise necklace and a pair of silver and turquoise earrings. I was in no hurry, so I selected standard shipping, which the site noted takes seven to 10 business days from the ship date.
On Jan 2, I received an e-mail that my purchases had been shipped. By Jan. 10, I realized that I hadn't received the parcel, but figured it might take the full time. The next week was a busy one, and I forgot about the shipment entirelyuntil my credit card bill came that weekend and I noticed the charge!
Conveniently, RedEnvelope's toll-free customer service number was printed right on the bill. I called and spoke to a friendly, helpful representative who pulled up my order, noted the ship date from the cataloger's warehouse, patched into her UPS tracking system and found out only that the parcel was in transit. She took my home phone number and promised to check with UPS. No more than 20 minutes passed before I received a return call from her with the information that UPS did not know what happened to the parcel once it got as far as Pennsylvaniaand I had the order shipped to my home in New Jersey!
The rep immediately offered to re-ship the entire purchase, but noted she no longer had the ring in the size I ordered; we discussed my options, and I decided on just the necklace and earrings.
On the Monday following, I received an e-mail alert that my order was being shipped; the next day I received the earrings and the day after, the necklace arrived; both were shipped at express rates, with no extra charge to me.
While I'm disappointed about the ring being out of stock, I'm very pleased with the service I received from RedEnvelope. My concerns were acknowledged, answers were tracked down, and the rep was prepared with the necessary information to help ease my decision when she called back.
Most of all, she cared that something had gone wrong in the delivery process. When I mentioned during our conversation that shipments sometimes disappear, her reply was: "Well, they shouldn't."
What a difference the right representative can make.