The Customer Is Always Right – with Andrew Milburn

 

DSC00072aaaaWe have all heard the saying “The Customer Is Always Right” and as a buyer we believe that all the time, so why when we sell something does the phrase “The Customer Is Always Right” go out of the window. Now Ok I know this is not the case for all sellers, and as sellers we always try and do our best to help a customer when things go wrong.

One of the problems as an online seller is the fact that we can never see the face of the person buying the item, and no matter how well we list the item and write the description, and take great photo’s we just loose the edge of having that one on one chat with the buyer. Then when the parcel leaves us, it is at the mercy of the carriers and though we might put do not damage, very fragile it could be travel many miles and often overseas and things do not happen. And again where as they could pop into the shop and see and show you, at the worst case it is emails and maybe a phone call. This is a reason why you should never ever reply to a heated email from a customer straight away. You need to chill, make a drink and re-read the email. And instead of a sellers hat put on the hat of a buyer and just think how you would re-act if an item had been received like they have just said.

Over the years I have tried and I hope I have given good customer service, was the customer always right… who knows, but each time they have been happy. There are two stories that I would like to cover in this article. The first is about a bottle of perfume that I had sold. it was brand new, still sealed. The customer bought it, paid within minutes and I sent it out same day, by signed for service. I left good feedback. Next day I checked that all the parcels I had sent out had been delivered etc and her’s had. Now I know people do not always leave feedback so when she did not it did not bother me, and on checking she never did, so to me once a week had gone by I had forgotten the sale. So was shocked when she emailed me four weeks later to say “Where Is My Item!!!”

So I checked back on my records and notes and saw that she had signed for it, some fours back, keeping the phrase “The Customer Is Always Right” in my mind I sent her a message back within My Messages, and did not ignore her question, but said thanks for contacting me, and sorry that there maybe a problem with her item, but I had checked and told her the dates and copied a picture of her signature. Also I said had she bought a similar item from someone else. Within minutes she sent an email back, saying so sorry she had emailed me like that, and yes I was right she had bought the same item from someone else and it was theirs that had not turned up. Is the customer always right…. This time no, but it turned out well.

The last one is where I had sold some items for a charity and one of the items was an old amp. I listed it and after sometime it sold. I then had to box it up, but that is another story it weighed almost 50lbs and had handles which made it hard. Anyway DHL were great and within 20 hours the customer had it. I left good feedback. Two days later, no email, no My messages, but a phone call. (I do have my number all over eBay), but it is still a shock when you get a call. And I could tell from his voice all was not well. He was not cross, he sounded shaken. The amp had burst into flames!!!!!  Not good…   But he laughed and said do not worry, I expected it to due to the age of the amp it was 45 years old and he was well repaired.

He offered to send me pictures etc, of the after effects, which he did. It did not look good. Now he offered to send it all back to me, but he would like a refund. So I gave him a total refund and told him to dump the amp, I explained the cost to get it back was not worth it. This time the customer was right, and again he left good feedback.

It does not matter if the Customer is right or not, what matters is the way we deal with them and treat them just as we would like to be treated when we are not happy with an item.

 

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