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October 17, 2008

The unthinkable has happened.  I received a phone call from…….(drum roll)…!  Well, the actual website didn’t call me (eeks) but an agent, whom I had been conversing with prior about the arrival of my order, did.  You see, after my bad experience yesterday (reference the Dear Walmart Poem) I came home to find an e-mail from the agent just checking to be sure that I had picked up my order (nice touch).  So I sent her a detailed account of the goings ons of my visit to the store at Montfort.  Today my phone rang and I was more than surprised to find out that it was Walmart – RESPONDING to my e-mail.  The agent verified what happened and then asked what she could do to make it better.  Well, hmmmm, let’s see.  Basically I want my lamps, I don’t want to pay shipping and I don’t want to go through the whole order process again on the website.  Wouldn’t you just know it that she could do ALL of those things for me, and I didn’t even have to give her my credit card again.

So you see, everybody wins…except Chad because he loves our existing lamps and can’t fathom why I would want new ones.  Being that our business is in the business of customer service training (among other things) and because I was a customer service agent and because quite frankly EVERY person in business or the world has to consider customer service I have prepared a short list of customer service tips, truths and lessons:

1.      Take time to LISTEN to the customer vent, don’t interrupt and get defensive.

2.     If you messed up, apologize and go above and beyond.

3.     Give the customer choices, nobody likes to feel cornered even if it’s not the ideal situation.

4.     The customer may not always be right but they are always the customer (I totally stole this from some of our content but today, on this blog it’s all mine and I am taking credit).

5.     Some people will always be unhappy and dissatisfied, as a customer service specialist you need to come to terms with that right away.

6.     You can turn a bad customer experience into a customer testimonial if you play your cards right (example A would be me and Walmart, hello).

7.     One bad customer experience will outlive and override 5 good experiences….and the story will get told 10 times more to friends, family and blog readers (so beware).

8.     Don’t mess with people’s money, they tend to get really ticked when your company messes up regarding their credit card, check or cash.

9.     Usually when one thing goes wrong with an account 5 more things soon follow, it’s the domino effect.

10.                        Customer service jobs are HARD and usually not that fun so if you are a dissatisfied customer remember that being calm, polite (yet firm), and courteous will get you a lot further than screaming, cussing and belittling people…oh yeah, and usually the person you talk to had NOTHING to do with your issue….and they are still PEOPLE so be kind or it will come back to haunt you.

That’s the lesson of the day – now off to go enjoy a game night with friends.

P.S. I am so pleased that Walmart redeemed themselves because in this tough economy I do not have the luxury of snubbing giant discount superstores.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cindy permalink
    October 18, 2008 12:45 am

    FINALLY – I’ve gotten some customer training! Thank you, Mrs. Bunkin!

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