Customer Service

Often when a company does something wrong it’s all over the place – social networking sites, search engines, papers, radio, ALL OVER. Today’s blog entry is different. It is about giving credit where credit is due.

After studying marketing, I am a sucker for GOOD customer service and I demand it. If I don’t get it, I voice my opinion. I know there is a budget for it so I make sure I get what I am paying for.

Now with certain products, there is no subscribing like we do with magazines or continuous Customer Relationship Management like we have with cars. I mean its toothpaste, toilet paper and salt. We can’t expect Unilever to try and follow up on every sale they make around the globe! So when I have a problem with low involvement, routine purchases and I complain and I get a positive feedback, I’m extremely happy.

A few months ago my sister bought panty liners that would not stick. She called the customer service number and spoke to someone and we thought ‘Ha! That’s the end of that’. But to our surprise within a few days she received a replacement pack along with an apology letter. When we went to the supermarket where she had initially purchased them, the entire stock had been pulled off the shelf. Talk about being proactive! And this was done within a few days so naturally I was highly impressed.

Then her husband buys some deodorant that will not spray. Being a typical man, he just throws it away and buys another one. And that one won’t spray either. He’s about to throw it away again when I offer to look into it for him. I call the customer service number and luckily, we still have the bottle so I give them the manufacturing number and tell them where he bought it and all that other stuff. The lady apologizes, promises to send replacement coupons and says she will take it further up the food chain. While I wait to see if the coupons will actually turn up, the fact that she took my details and she didn’t try to make it look like it’s my fault that it won’t spray, I am going to be loyal to that brand as long as they treat me right.

I realize now that as annoying as it is to make these calls, it is very important because how else will the companies know they need to improve their quality if we the customers do not let them know that there is a problem? Now maybe some people do this on a regular basis. I know people who buy clothes, wear them without removing the tags the take them back to the shop for a refund. But it’s like the story of the boy who cried wolf. The companies cannot turn the rest of us away because of these few individuals.

So to the people who actually call and tell the companies what is going on, don’t stop calling. And to those companies that actually listen and do something, thank you. And to Lil-lets and Shield, thank you for taking responsibility and helping me not lose my faith in marketing.