Sunday, April 13, 2008 & Me - A Horror Story

I ordered a couple of GPS units from I was given the tracking number once the order shipped so I could check on it. A good thing, but not unusual. I had to check again on the shipment because it did not deliver when I expected it do based on when it arrived in NJ. I found that it was "unable to deliver" on I called and found it was damaged in transit.

I called The first CSR to help me had difficulty understanding my problem. She also became annoyed when I told her why she did not understand. She thought I had received the order and found it to be damaged when it had never delivered. She put me on hold and left me there.

I called back and got "Ralph". He was a lot friendlier and tried to help me. He verified what I told him about the shipment. However, they could not send replacements. I would have to enter a new order and my first order would not be credited until they received the damaged package back from FedEx. I asked him to request a credit for me and he did. I got a reference number and that was it for the call.

The next day I called back and got a CSR with no personality. He reiterated their policy of not crediting until the damaged package was received back from FedEx. I warned him that I would dispute the charge. That did not seem to bother him. I decided it was pointless to continue with

Yesterday I called my credit card company and disputed the charge. It went well because I had all of the details they needed. Problem solved.

I still wanted the GPS units. I found they were sold by other vendors, including Amazon. That is who I ordered them from.

I would never, ever order anything online from Circuit City again. & Me

I ordered some items on One of the items was an eyelid scrub. Of the two versions available, I purchased the more expensive one. I received my order and found that I had received the less expensive version.

Call 1#: I explained my issue to someone who was having trouble understanding it and also having trouble confirming on her end that there were two versions of the product. I was placed on hold for several minutes. At that point, I gave up and called again.

Call 2#: I tried again and had the same difficulty, but this time I was at my computer and found that depending on what search terms were used on, you may not get both products on the query or may get one on the 2nd page of the results. I found out what the best search term was and gave it to the CSR helping me. So far, so good. I was due a credit of less than $10 because I intended to keep what I receive. The CSR had to put me on hold to get permission from her supervisor to make the credit.

My experience overall here was mixed. The CSR's did try to help me. The first one had be on hold, I believe, because she was trying to find both products on their website. I think that they could have been better trained and with that a bit more empowered. I was surprised that my small credit needed supervisory approval.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Book: How to Talk to Customers

One of the managers in my department got a couple of copies of this book from the company they authors belong to (Diane Berenbaum and Tom Larkin of Communico). I flipped through it several months ago, but thought there was nothing (or at least not much) new and put it back down. Then a couple of months ago I decided to go through it. I am glad I did.

MAGIC® is their system of training and the book expands on it, using "Magic Moments" and "Tragic Moments" as examples of good or bad service.

I think the book covers the bases very well and is reader-friendly. The chapters are concise and to the point.

For this book to be effective, there has to be buy-in to the MAGIC® system, whether the reader is an individual trying to improve or a manager trying to improve service by their organization. Those willing to do that will find in this book everything that they need.