What's more we have horrible customer service!
Sure you've heard everyone claim that what makes them different is great customer service but can EVERYONE have great customer service? I decided to write this blog after a complaint from a customer yesterday. A woman told us that we have horrible customer service; so I thought I'd tell you about all the times we have treated our customers badly. Of course you first have to believe that people, humans should NEVER make a mistake and if they do and immediately correct the problem then THAT is horrible customer service.
Ad Specialty Products
In every city you can find someone who is in the business of selling inexpensive things with your logo imprinted on them so why search the Internet to find someone who may treat you poorly?
When you come to us for promotional products you just might get the worst customer service ever!
When things go right then everything is fine and you think you received good customer service. However, I think that when things go wrong it is how that is handled that really shows you who you are dealing with and what type of customer service you are about to get.
Here is an example of our bad customer service. One year ago someone searching for promotional products found our website. They wanted calendars for an insurance agency business to give out to all of their clients. Since we offer over 80,000 products on our website the ONLY way we can do this is to work with thousands of vendors all around the United States. They found on our website a picture of a calendar they ordered the year before from some other vendor. Maybe this should have been my first clue; she wasn't working with the people she bought from the year before. The pictures come from a huge database we subscribe to from a third party vendor who organizes these thousands of vendors and their 80,000 products. The client selected the calendar, told us what they wanted printed on the calendar and we ordered them from our vendor. Soon the calendars were shipped to the client and that is when the phone call came in complaining that they didn't match the photo on our website. I told the insurance agency client that I'd check on that and see what happened. I called the vendor and they confessed that the photo they put in the database was the deluxe calendar but the style number shown with that calendar was the regular calendar. Consequently they printed and shipped the regular calendar instead of the deluxe calendar. At no expense to my client I promptly had the calendars reprinted and shipped to the client. We even issued a call tag to have UPS come pick up the wrong calendars at the vendors expense. To my way of thinking there is no other way to resolve this problem. I view that as people are only human and sometimes a mistake will be made but my vendor did the right thing and made everything right for my client.
Business Promotional Items
Your Logo On Anything!
So one year later I guess the calendar client got over the idea that we shipped the wrong thing; after all we immediately corrected the problem. Not only that but they only paid the price of the smaller calendar due to our picture being the deluxe calendar but all the info about that item including the price was the regular calendar. This year they wanted the exact same calendar so the first problem was that they had to pay a few cents per calendar more to buy the deluxe calendar. They really liked getting the deluxe calendar at the regular calendar price. They seemed a little disappointed but no big deal as they understood the mistake from the year before. So now they place the order for 500 calendars and 350 envelopes. Fewer envelopes were needed since they still had some from last year because they gave out many in person and the envelope was not used. I contacted the vendor and reminded them of the mistake from the year before. I put the new order in writing and referred back to the wrong order and the correct order so that there would be no mistake this year.
Good Customer Service
Or is this the worst customer service ever?
You know that when things can go wrong they will. So of course since I called and faxed the order in writing carefully explaining the error from the year before to avoid the problem this year, you can guess what happened. Yes they shipped them the regular calendar again, not the deluxe calendar. The client called and left a message stating that she had a few questions. She wanted to know if the calendars were smaller this year because she wanted the exact same ones as last year. I told her I'd check with the factory and get back to her. I had to call back and tell her that the same mistake from last year had been made again and new ones were being printed as we speak (Friday) and would be shipped Monday and that she would be able to just return the ones we sent by mistake. This is when she became irate and told me that there is no way she is going to pay for shipping to return the wrong envelopes and she can't believe our lack of professionalism and thought we'd be more careful since this happened the year before. I told her that I'm not asking her to pay the shipping and that we would pay for the return shipping just like we did the year before and that I called the factory and faxed them to remind them about last years mistake to try and prevent it but people make mistakes. She continued to yell and proceed to tell me that due to this inconvenience I should let her keep the wrong calendars AND ship her the replacements on Monday and give her a full refund. I explained that when we rush to redo an order then all profit is lost but we are making good on her order and giving a one day turnaround and that is the best we could do. OH but it got worse, when the calendars arrived she emailed to say that she had questions. I replied to her stating that I just had surgery and wouldn't be at the office but if she would email me her questions and I'd promptly reply. Hours went by with no reply from her so I went into the office with my arm in a sling and an ice pack on my shoulder and found that instead of emailing me she left two messages asking me to return her call. So I called and she asked if the envelopes from the smaller calendar fit the larger calendar. I replied that we order them from a factory and they were never in my office so I hadn't seen them but asked if the new envelopes were the same size as the old envelopes. She replied that no new envelopes came with the new calendars. So I told her that if she still has the old envelopes she could check and see. Her response was that this was a big inconvenience and she shouldn't have to do my job and I should know if the envelopes would fit or not. I reminded her that our website has over 80,000 products and I simply couldn't recall if it was a one size fits all envelope but I'd check with the factory to see if the deluxe calendars are made to fit in the regular envelope. I called back to apologize and tell her that they simply forgot to ship the envelopes and that the correct ones are being printed right now and will be sent next day air at our expense. At that point she asked for my supervisor. I told her that I'm the owner so she asked who else she could report this horrible customer service to. I explained that we try our best and I gave good instruction and somehow the mistake was made but I'm covering it at my expense. She went on to say that this whole thing has been a horrible inconvenience and that she has better things to do than to do my job for me and that I'm only making excuses.
It is important to note that I'm a very calm person by nature, I never raised my voice or said anything insulting or disrespectful to her.
She proceeded to tell me that next year she will find some other vendor after what I've put her through. I explained that I understand how upsetting it can be when things go wrong. I further explained that if everything went perfectly she wouldn't know very much about me or my company and that when a mistake is made then that is how you get to see what type of a person you are dealing with. I pointed out that once she told me about the error I immediately fixed the problem and I'm shipping replacements overnight at my expense and that if there was something more I could do to correct the problem I certainly would. Her reply was "thanks" and she ended the call.
Promotional Business Products
In Business Since 1993
We began in 1993 with custom embroidery on golf shirts and expanded to 80,000 promotional products. Since that time the example of bad customer service above is the worst thing that has ever happened in our company. Maybe it is our bad customer service that has kept us in business so long. So if you think that admitting a mistake immediately and replacing the product as quickly as possible is the kind of customer service that you would like to see IF something goes wrong then please check out our website and give us a call.
Trade Show Give Away Items
Business owners will order promotional products for different reasons:
1. Inexpensive trade show give away items - pens, key chains & sticky note pads are examples.
2. End of the year holiday gifts to give clients - Wine, clocks & coffee mugs are examples.
3. Promotional items can be imprinted with your logo and sold - t-shirts, stadium cups with the team logo & tote bags are examples.
4. Some ad specialty products are used as door openers by door to door salespeople. They walk in and hand an item to the receptionist as a gift and will be granted an opportunity to at least present the purpose of their visit. - Tape measures, highlighters & mini flashlights are examples.
5. Crystal awards for sales achievements are often given to top producers.
6. Banks and insurance companies will often give golf balls, golf tees and calendars as little gifts to show appreciation for their clients.
If you will be exhibiting in a trade show please check out our trade show displays
Advertising Products - 80,000 Promotional Products All Organized On One Website
We have 80,000 ad specialty products all neatly organized by categories on our website. Search by categories such as mouse pads, cups, pens, key chains or golf. Alternatively you may also use our keyword search feature in which you just type in a word or two to describe what you are looking for.