Tuesday, May 25

That 1%

1% of your customers won't read your descriptions, and after you ship, will say:
1. Oh, this is the wrong size.
2. I didn't know oxidized meant charcoal gray....oh, you mean like your photos?
3. I didn't know when you said custom orders take 10 days, you meant ME and MY order.
....and here's what you do. You do what you can to make it right. You accept returns even after the date in your shop policies. You exchange the shirt for a size that will fit. You recut the guitar pick and stamp it again (note to self) and recycle the recycled sterling.
Why? There are a couple of reasons:
1. When things go wrong you expend 99% of your energy on that 1% Do you really have that kind of time?
2. Going that extra mile is appreciated and may win you a return customer. Even if it doesn't , you've done a good thing for your business reputation.
3. There is always someone in the same business willing to do what you won't and they are waiting in the wings.
Now, get back to work and kiss the ones you love,


Kathy said...

I absolutely agree. I know how hard it is sometimes when you know you are right and the customer is wrong....but in business you need to be flexible.

Much better to have that customer telling everyone they know how awesome you are, than to have them say the opposite.

Arguing with a customer brings so much negativity to your shop...

it's not worth it.

So be kind, understanding and give them the benefit of the doubt. You will fee so much better for having done so.

Catherine Ivins said...

EXCELLENT post Sherry! One of two things happens to me in these situations (after I make the corection an easy process for them)- either I have a customer for life who thinks I am wonderful or something keeps going wrong with that customer- like the correction gets lost in the mail - I guess either way they never forget me! GREAT POST!

xo- Cat :)

Dawn -Designs by Dawn Marie said...

I love this post Sherry for two reasons. First, there's always someone that isn't satisfied for whatever reason. When we're dealing with the general public, some people are just unhappy people and nothing will be right. We can't take it personally.

Secondly, I guarantee the positive comments and feedback people receive from their loyal customer outweigh the grumpy customer 100:1 or greater! So don't let that 1% put a damper on your day! It's really not worth expending the negative energy!

Hope all of your days Sherry, Kathy & Cat, are absolutely wonderful! Have a TERRIFIC one!


Rebecca said...

Fortunately it's only a small percentage of customers like this, and since it's a small percentage, it isn't too hard to rectify the situation for them. Ao I totally agree with your suggestions and reasonings and with the other comments. And I love your graphic, by the way!

La Dolfina said...

Hi Sherry,
I wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog and introducing yourself! I look forward to following and getting to know you :)

Julie Boyles Journals and Books said...

I totally agree also. My career began as management in a department store. I'll never forget the way I was required to treat our customers that were trying to return something. Now on the rare occasion when things go wrong, I have the opportunity to make it right. All by myself... without asking anyone else for permission.

Recently I made a costly mistake with some new packaging. It stung a little to give that refund, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Great post Sherry, Thanks!

Kendra Zvonik said...

I agree! Great post!
All I can add is that I am personally willing to admit that it IS possible for me to have made a mistake that 1% of the time and if that's what it takes to make things right, I'll do it! Pride can distract us from seeing the big picture only if we let it.

Thanks for your comment in my painting blog- really appreciate your support!
xo Kendra

lisaroy said...

great post and so true! When you think of the rare person who isn't happy, it's so much easier to try to make them happy and in doing so, you feel happier too. It's all about good karma! : )

Scott Bulger Photography said...

Perfectly said.

Jena said...

This is really helpful and confirming. You are so right. I always try to go above and beyond, and in the long run, it's good for everyone. So nice to have found you, and thanks for visiting our blog. :)

Pretty Things said...


Waterrose said...

I agree. Making customers like that happy is generally a good PR move as well. They are usually the most vocal and will tell the friends about their wonderful experience.

Orion Designs said...

This is exactly the way I've run my business for the past 13 years. It always works and it feels good ... most of the time.

(I won't go into details about THAT customer)

msbelle said...

Hehe! Yeah, it's always a pleasure doing business with that kind of customer. Right. Still it's good advice. It's the right thing to do.

Julie said...

Totally agree....you know why? Because I am guilty of not reading descriptions close regarding sizes. I get the item and it is way smaller than I thought. Great post, thanks so much...

Elle said...

While I understand going the extra mile for customers, if I wasn't going to stick to my policies why did I bother coming up with them?

Julie Boyles said...

Just had to come back and read this again. Because, well you know, that 1%. Thanks for the reminder again.