It happens to all of us – there's a hiccup in the delivery of your product or service to a client and they let you know they are not happy. While it's an inevitable situation for anyone who has been in business for a while, what is not always common is how these things are handled.
One of our awesome customers, David Marinac and his team at Stand Up Pouches (SUP) did an incredible job this week by rectifying a customer issue so fast and so successfully that her commitment to doing business with them increased dramatically.
See for yourself what happened – (note: the client name has been changed but we've kept the names of the SUP folks so they get the recognition they deserve!):
1. Email from Client – We've all gotten them, and they are always a bummer!
I received my order 307 last week and have just recently opened the box to find the bags all yellowed in color. They look as though they have been lying around a long time. I have other bags from another manufacturer and the difference can be seen dramatically. This is my second order I placed with you, and was very pleased with the first order, but not with this one. What can be done about this? I am not at all satisfied with this product.
2. Reply Email from SUP President – 25 minutes later, and did we mention this was a Friday night?
Of course we'll do whatever is necessary! Karen will be in touch with you on Monday and resend a new case...plus make sure we provide a gift certificate towards your next order. We want you happy!
Question...please let Karen know if you need a handful of pouches sent overnight or if Ground Service is OK (yes, YOU are that important!)
Julie...send the returned case to me at HQ so I can review!
David Marinac, President and CEO
3. Customer Reply the Following Morning – Appreciates Prompt Response but Still Wary
Hello and thank you for your quick response. Are you sending a return shipping label to me? I should not be responsible for the shipping back to you. And yes, I do need some bags ASAP, as I did not order from my previous supplier because of my order to you. Thank you and I will await your response about return shipping.
4. SUP Follow Up on Monday Morning – President Calls Client, Emails All to Close the Loop
Julie and Karen,
I went to the plant today…and YES, something has caused the discoloration of the all clear 4 x 6.5 x 2.5 pouches. FYI…nothing is wrong from a barrier standpoint but the color is a rejection!
Per our conversation Julie…Matt is overnighting 100 to you of the Clear/Silver 4 x 6.5 x 2.5 pouches and shipping the balance Ground.
Julie…there is NO CHARGE for this entire case (please deduct from Inventory)
When the All Clear are re-run…send a case to Julie (in fact…once the plant re-runs…have a case sent AIR to me and I’ll send to Julie).
I will let the plant know of this problem and handle their being re-run.
Thank you Julie…for letting us know about the situation (and allowing us the opportunity to FIX IT)…
Thank you Karen…for birddogging this as you always do!
Thank you Matt (and George) for taking care of this at the warehouse, you guys rock!
5. Client Thanks All for their Efforts
David and Karen,
I would like to thank you for your outstanding service regarding this matter. I have never received such quick and personal service from any other company I do business with. They should all take a page from your book! I truly appreciate your concern for the quality of your product and the service you provide to your customers. Thanks again and I will be doing business with you again, you can be sure of it.
What We Love about This Story
There are so many great things and B2B marketing lessons to learn from this customer story. For example:
- Respond quickly and courteously when clients reach out. Assure them of your commit to their total satisfaction.
- Give more than the client is asking for. Of course, you have to fix the situation but a gift certificate or other gesture to compensate for their trouble goes a long way.
- Pick up the phone when it counts. David's call to Julie was a smart, generous gesture, especially when we are all so used to getting email responses. And it did not hurt that he is the president of the firm, I'm sure!
- Be transparent. David was great about communicating with his team AND the client in his emails so that Julie could see what was involved in fixing the issue and the team could see how important the client's happiness was to their boss.
- Thank everyone involved. You can see David's appreciation for both the client bringing the issue to his attention and for his team's efforts to make things right.
Congrats to David and his team for knocking it out of the park!
For more insights into customer relationship management, check out our comprehensive resource: The Ultimate Guide to Harnessing the Power of Customer Success.