When An Owner Doesn’t Care About Customer Experience

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: customer experience

My wife needed quilting supplies and decided to support a non-chain, small business here in San Jose. They were out of a product and promised to call when the supplies arrived.

They called on a Thursday stating the item was in. My wife told them she’d stop by on Friday. The next day she drove 25 minutes (16 miles in city traffic) and was surprised they had closed at 2:00 p.m. for Good Friday. There was no mention of the early closing during the call the day before.

She called the following Monday and a store clerk agreed to ship the item and waive the shipping fee for her time and trouble the prior week. That was the right thing to do!

When the item arrived a few days later, my wife had been charged for shipping. She called the store and the same clerk refused to acknowledge the commitment for free shipping–her boss was standing next to her and eventually jumped on the call.

After a tedious conversation, the store owner agreed to refund the shipping but only after my wife committed to never do business with them again.

  • Who would want to do business with an outfit that doesn’t do what it says it will do?
  • Why would the owner expect my wife to be willing to overlook how she is being treated in this transaction?
  • What is the potential lost lifetime value of my wife’s business for $5.00?
  • Doesn’t the business owner realize there are many alternatives to doing business with his store?

Yelp confirms a number of missteps like the one she encountered. Negative customer experiences combined with the ability to easily discover customer experience information about a business via Yelp and other services mean business owners can’t hide their missteps. It’s 2014, not 1980.

The question for my readers this week is what missteps are you subjecting your customers to? You can’t accelerate growth if missteps are impacting your customer’s experiences.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com, Melissa O’Donohue


Thought for the week:

“The very purpose of our life is happiness, which is sustained by hope. We have no guarantee about the future, but we exist in the hope of something better. Hope means keeping going, thinking, ‘I can do this.’ It brings inner strength, self-confidence, the ability to do what you do honestly, truthfully and transparently.” – His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
What do you think? I welcome your comments!


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