Fastener your Customer Service Belts!


Working on a signage project recently, I needed some clips to hold components together. I remembered a company I used to work with years ago called Fasteners for Retail, they carry all those cool gadgets you see in retail land, holding signs, dangling and making you buy things you don't need.

It was a Saturday, normal office hours were closed, so I hit the web. I found what I needed and ordered a sample quantity of 10 for about $13. Order was processed, received, clips worked great, until. I noticed my credit card was it for 2 charges, one for the $13 and another for almost $15. I sent an email to the customer service person, Heather,  who explained the latter charge was for freight.

When I ordered the clips, I had requested a catalog also. Their catalog weighs about 3 pounds (a great bathroom reader, by the way). My clips weighed about 3 ounces, so being shipped with a catalog. My assumption was that they were billing the freight for their catalog, which didn't seem right.

I sent an email questioning the bill, received a response saying it was freight, I replied. It didn't seem fair that I was paying for distribution of their marketing. Then I received a phone call. Heather, a customer service person apologized for calling 1st, explaining that after rwo  emails she feels the compulsion to pick up the phone and deal with the problem directly… Great idea. She explained to me that the web was more for bulk ordering, the freight charge was a minimum, and that they had a great sample department that was very liberal with supplying what I needed for testing, for free. She then proceeded to credit out the freight on my order and apologized again.

At that point I stopped her, it was 9 o'clock on a Monday morning. I told her I really appreciated her picking up the phone and we had a great conversation, and I learned a few things. I appreciated her efforts on behalf of her company. She replied, it's what I do. She then further explained that she has a passion for keeping your customers happy, and email is good for some things, but talking with people directly, hearing their tone, their inflection and attitude was critical.

I told her I couldn't agree more. I thank Heather very much for her efforts, and her great attitude, she made my day. I hope to repeat this story, and remember it with the people I deal with, my customers, every day, one day, at a time.

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