Am I Fanatical About Customer Service?

Dear redacted,

Thank you for your interest in Bingo Card Creator.  There appears to have been an issue with your credit card on Google’s end.  I believe they have contacted you about it, but they do not tell me about your credit card details, in order to protect your financial privacy.  It appears that you put the transaction through three times when this issue resulted in you not promptly receiving your software, which would ordinarily result in you getting billed three times if they accept your credit card pending review.  I am almost certain that this is not what you intended, so I took the liberty of canceling the second and third orders. 

I do not know how long the process will be to resolve the credit card issue with Google.  Accordingly, I’m going to trust that Google will resolve it to our mutual satisfaction, and deliver the software to you now.  If Google cannot resolve the issue and we are forced to cancel the order, feel free to keep the software, and accept my apologies for the inconvenience. 

Your Registration Key is redacted  Please find below instructions on how to input this into your trial version to unlock the software, if you require them.

Thank you for your business.

Regards,

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

*snip of canned instructions*

Heck yes I am fanatical about customer service.  Are you?

That is incidentally far from the best email I’ve ever written… what can I say, I just got back from the gym and was too tired to be writing.  There should have been a reminder that she had ordered Bingo Card Creator earlier that day in the first paragraph (oblique references to “transactions” are shop-talk and should be avoided), and the apology was clumsy and conditional.  Clumsy is forgivable but conditional apologies are the worst thing ever — they make it seem like you’re trying to avoid fault.  That was not the purpose of the excercise.  I’m guessing you understand that the point: when circumstances beyond your control make your customer interaction less than absolutely perfect, control the freaking circumstances.

Sidenote to Google: I love Checkout but I love my customers more.  If this sort of thing happens on anything more than a once-in-a-blue moon basis, that will severely impair my ability to love Checkout.

No Responses to “Am I Fanatical About Customer Service?”

  1. saberworks February 22, 2007 at 5:53 pm #

    Good try but I think it was way too long and confusing. Why not just…

    Dear Customer,

    I noticed three orders from you for Bingo Card Creator. My payment processor flagged the orders for review, but I figured this was a mistake (perhaps on our end), so I cancelled the two extra orders. Here is your license key, and if there’s anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

    Sincerely,
    whoever

  2. Patrick February 23, 2007 at 12:24 am #

    There is no apology and it includes a conditional acceptance of fault, although there is something to be said for brevity. I do tend to talk too much.

  3. Kevin February 23, 2007 at 6:11 pm #

    I’ve learned a lesson related to this sort of thing. Brevity is good when you’re just acknowledging something. No one wants to read a novel to try to ‘figure out’ what happened. On the other hand, if someone’s really mad, it may help to address their mad-ness.

    Customer: “I had a bad experience / problem / it just isn’t right, I want a refund.”

    Me: “Okay. Here’s your refund!”

    Customer: “[REALLY HUGE RANT ABOUT HOW HORRIBLE WE ARE AS A COMPANY AND HOW HE WILL THROW RATS AT US]”

    Me: “[BENDING OVER BACKWARDS TO APOLOGIZE]“

  4. Eric D. Burdo March 12, 2007 at 4:11 pm #

    Joel Spolsky has a good article on Customer Service too.

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/customerservice.html

    He outlines some of the same things you do…

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