May 15th, 2012 // 11:37 pm @ Terry
How many folks can say that they like their business cards? I don’t just like my cards, I love them! The paper, design, and rounded corners are always a point of discussion for the folks who receive them. Whenever I teach a professional development, career transition, networking or Law of Attraction workshop or tele-class, or coach a client; my business card vendor’s name is always shared. That’s what professionals do – we share our resources.
So, when it came time to replicate the purchase it was done with glee. I went to the website and even added 1500 more cards to the order! It was easy and I was looking forward to receiving my package.
When the box arrived it went into my office and sat for a couple of weeks. It just didn’t dawn on me to check it. Imagine my shock and disappointment when I finally opened the box and there were no rounded corners! As you can imagine I picked up the phone immediately and called the the vendor. After describing the issue, here’s what they told me:
- They would send me a postage slip to return the cards in my possession.
- Give me 50% off my new order
- I needed to pay the extra fee for rounded corners.
My initial reaction was, “I paid for rounded corners since this order replicated the product from my first order!” The representative informed me that the cards were printed exactly as were ordered online. They explained that because 1500 cards were added it changed the original order causing the page to change and requiring that the “rounded corners” button be clicked. Obviously, I missed all of that!
Of course I would gladly pay extra for the rounded corners! That design detail made the cards extra special. No issue there. I did not understand why the base order could not be replaced instead of being offered only 50% off. It was made clear that the cards in my possession were not what I wanted or expected. And it was also made clear how much I had marketed this company to entrepreneurs, the military, at networking events, etc. Isn’t the primary focus of any company to make sure it’s customers are happy? I wanted what I had before which is what I expected when placing the order.
I asked to have my case reviewed by a supervisor and the response was that since the card had no misprints, and they delivered what was ordered, that was all that could be done. They could not justify replacing the base order on my cards even though I agreed to pay extra for the rounded corners! What! I was dumbfounded! The difference between replacing the cards and the 50% coupon was approximately $25. These folks were willing to lose a customer who could bring them thousands of dollars of business for $25? Yes, they are paying for return postage, and labor, ink and paper. Got it.
Obviously, I was not happy. The $25 was more important than keeping a customer happy. Was it my mistake? Yes it was. However, were things made clear on their website that led to creating the mistake? No. Did they care? Not really! Obviously my business was not valuable enough to them and they really weren’t interested in keeping it. Wrong move when the customer is a published author in customer service. This company certainly lacked the Nordstrom or Disney customer service culture. The irony of all this? I was running my Business Alchemy Inner Circle call the evening this all went down. One of my students announced to the group she had just placed an order with this company based on my stellar recommendation! Gotta love it!
So, what would have happened if they did replace the base order? They would have received lots of fresh hits on their website and new customers they didn’t have before from my efforts. Basically, they had a free salesperson!
In my line of work I reach a lot of people in-person and online. Deliver great service and people share the experience and resources, creating an easy word-of-mouth marketing campaign. That’s major FREE marketing – the kind that any business covets because it takes such little effort. When a company disappoints its customers – its lifeline – word travels fast especially in this socially networked society.
Well, I kept the 2500 cards with the square corners. I’ll be kind and not state the name of the company which lost my business for $25. What a shame that they lost all of that free word-of-mouth marketing! And, they lost out on printing my three new projects that were ready to roll out.
What I will say is that my new online printing company is AWESOME! And they are right in my back yard of Providence, RI! Their guarantee is right on their webpage. They are easy to work with and deliver a great product. I encourage you to visit www.MOO.com for your business card needs.
To your success!