A week or so ago I blogged about a situation where a 3at1 service provider chose to refund me, rather than redoing a printing job. I was disappointed, because the refund left me in a lurch to a find another printer quickly. And some of you pointed out the many reasons why the decision to refund was not good business.
When I blogged about the situation, I didn't expect anything to come out of it. I'd had my say, and if by some miracle some search engine led the owners to the post, I didn't expect them to do anything about it.
I was pleasantly surprised. This morning I received an email with a gracious apology from the company, with a promise for better service in the future. And weirdly, it turns out the owner and I belong to the same small business forum. Small world, huh?
So what business lessons did I learn from this situation?
1. The internet is a powerful medium and what we say on our blogs and forums etc matters. Business is listening to you as a customer.
2. Smart business owners listen to their customers. So while I was initially unimpressed with the printer, I respect the fact that she's using new media to enhance her business communication.
3. Smart business owners take action when customers complain, if it is on a blog and not in person.
4. If you respond to a public complaint ( say on a blog), do it with class. The emailed apology was very gracious and made me rethink the service provider. She didn't argue the fine points of the issue; she didn't try to defend her initial decision. All she said was, we're sorry, we've taken steps to make sure we do better in the future, come back and we value your business.
So what do you think of this new development? If you were in my shoes, would you use the service provider again, if only to give them a second chance and reward their listening to an unhappy customer?