Amazon Customer Service
I’ve had recent issues at diverse aspects of Amazon where the customer service was amazing. In contrast, I’ve had recent issues with one of the major cell phone manufacturers and also with one of the major credit card companies where the customer service was miserable. When you experience both sides of it, that really makes the good customer service seem that much better.
What’s amazing is that some companies don’t fully appreciate the power of excellent customer service. Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising. Some companies appreciate that word-of-mouth advertising (or even social media advertising) from satisfied customers is FREE and often not too hard to earn, while other companies don’t yet seem to fully appreciate this. It might serve them well to consider how satisfying customers at little-to-no expense (when possible) might be a great advertising investment (on top of creating customer loyalty). (Surprisingly, those same companies who have totally inflexible or unreasonable policies want me to rate their service and review them on Google. They say, “Sorry, we can’t do that [thing that wouldn’t cost us a penny, but might make your life better]; unfortunately, that’s just company policy, and not even my manager’s manager can do anything about it,” and then send an email to review the company online. It seems ironic. Fortunately for them, I only write reviews when the service is good; I don’t have enough time to also write the bad reviews. But some customers would.)
Take me, for example. I was recently satisfied with Amazon’s customer service so much that I’m telling the world about it here on my blog, and others in person or on the phone. On the other hand, a dissatisfied customer may do much the opposite. (Not me though. I didn’t mention the name of the major cell phone company or the major credit card company that gave me poor customer service. I could have blogged about them, but didn’t. Some people would have. Though I might end up telling the story in person. That’s not the free word-of-mouth advertising they probably desire.)
Back to Amazon… Recently, I had a delivery mix-up where I inadvertently opened the box, and I feared it would become a pain to return a very heavy box, but the customer service WOWed me (once I got past the automated system), making it easy to solve my problem. Recently, I also had an issue at KDP, and the customer service was amazing. Over the years, I’ve received excellent customer service from a wide variety of Amazon services. I’m sure Amazon isn’t perfect and that there have been some dissatisfied customers, but since my own experience has so often been amazing, I’ve become a loyal Amazon customer. And I’ve often shared the stories of Amazon’s customer experience with friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances.
There are a couple of other major companies that I wish were more like Amazon in this regard.
It’s a good reminder that as authors, when we have the rare opportunity to provide customer service, it’s worth treating the customer the way that we would like to be treated.
Chris McMullen, author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of workbooks