The Diamond Ring: A Story Of Fantastic Customer Support
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Last Saturday, I was in my garden plucking a bounty of sugar snap peas from my Florida garden when I heard the phone ring.
My husband ran inside and I faintly heard a “Hello” and several “un-huh…un-huh.” Then, he came out and said, “Sarah, it’s our jeweler, you better talk with them.”
Now, before I go much further, I should tell you that the week prior to this… my husband and I went to our family jeweler and purchased a new engagement setting. You see, the original setting that my husband purchased actually broke due to a recall on the design and we have never been happy with the replacement.
So, in celebration of our upcoming 5th anniversary, we were excited to get a new setting to hold my diamond and that would match my wedding ring. The only down side is that we would have to wait about 10 days for them to set the diamond into the ring due to some custom work that needed to be done.
Let’s go back to the garden last Saturday…
When my husband said it was our family jeweler; a privately owned small business for almost 100 years, I thought for sure it was a courtesy call letting me know the ring was finished…but it wasn’t!
“Hello, this is Sarah.” I answered.
A very concerned and sympathetic voice replied on the other end with “Sarah, I’m sorry but I have bad news.”
She went on to tell me that while trying to set the diamond, they end up chipping a large portion off of it. It would be possible to polish it and turn it back into a princess cut (square) but would be a smaller diamond in the end.
I was stunned.
Then, I felt a surge of anger rise from my gut. I know that it’s only a material item and I am not normally attached to such things, but this was the very symbol my husband used to purpose to me….it was and is very sentimental.
As I felt that anger arise, I knew that it would do no good to let it out. I mean, the Customer Support Manager that called me couldn’t have been more sympathetic and apologetic. After all, it’s not like she was the one who chipped my diamond.
She listened to everything I had to say and was not defensive at all. She told me that she would do everything she could to make this right and that she was personally going to make sure I was happy in the end. I made sure to thank her many time because she was definitely going to be my best resource.
Basically, she acted like she was a good friend of mine, supporting me through a horrible event in my life.
Now, this may seem a bit melodramatic, but if you’ve ever had something this special to you broken then you know what I mean. We talked for about 15 minutes about all the details of the situation.
She gave me three options: 1. Polish my diamond (and have a smaller diamond) or 2. They would replace my diamond with one equal or higher value 3. If those weren’t satisfactory, I was to let her know what I would like in order to have a good resolution. Then, she suggested that I take a few days to decide.
By the end, she gave me her personal email and cell number.
She even told me her work schedule so I’d know when she would be at the store and also offered for me to call anytime.
Now, I’m not telling you all of this because I wanted you to know about the situation I am in with my engagement diamond. Instead, I am telling you this because I want you to know a story of fantastic customer support, so you can use it in your own business someday.
Customer Support is like a choreographed dance between the support provider and the customer. In this particular situation, each party took very important actions that allowed for a satisfactory outcome.
1. The Customer Support Manager:
– She was understanding and sympathetic
– She did not blame me for anything and took all of the responsibility
– She acted like a friend
– She was genuine in wanting to find a solution that was satisfactory for me (not the company)
– She gave me the opportunity to tell her what I wanted as a resolution (when most companies tell the customer what they’ll do!)
– She gave me her personal contact information so that I could call with questions
– She gave me confidence that she was going to make everything right!
2. Customer (me):
– “Don’t kill the messenger.” I didn’t yell at the Customer Support Manger. No matter what happens, this NEVER help resolve a problem
– I remained calm and listened to the Customer Support Manager’s suggestions
– I showed appreciation for the effort she was putting towards a resolution.
Whether you are a consumer or providing support to your customers, it’s important to remember to work together. As a small business, it’s okay to take monetary loss to satisfy a customer. You can think of it as a business expense. As I’m sure you’ve heard, if you don’t have happy customers then soon you won’t have any customers! Even if you’re just starting your new business online, this is really important to keep in mind.
Oh…and as for my diamond ring. I took option three and asked her to give me back my original diamond as well as give me a replacement. She said she thought this was reasonable due to the sentimental value and would work to get that approved. I’m still waiting to hear. Keep your fingers crossed!
– Sarah Knudson
Traffic Manger, Overcome Everything