Never Underestimate Customer Service Basics


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I have been selling textbooks on Amazon for years. Once I got into grad school, I found that I made a bit more selling them online than selling them back to bookstore, and now I’m helping out my niece the same way.

It’s a fairly straightforward process:

  • Create book listing
  • Receive email that book has sold
  • Ship book
  • Get paid

Amazon is pretty strict about the shipping side of things. Once you receive the email that the book has been sold, you have to get it out within 2 business days. (Naturally they don’t want you messing around.)

I was traveling last week, and found a sold email confirmation in my junk folder- 2 days after the purchase had been made. I also found an email from the buyer, a college student, thanking me for selling the book in her budget, and letting me know that she was starting classes within the week so she was hoping to get it as soon as possible.

Momentary panic ensued. I was at work without access to the book, and I didn’t expect to be home before the post office closed. Then I took a deep breath and settled down to figure it out.

I sent a quick email back to the buyer just to let her know that I was delayed, but I would get the book out that day. I also promised that I would shoot her another email just confirming its shipment. I performed a little magic (i.e. I enlisted the help of my husband) and shipped the book a few hours later.

I sent the girl a “it’s in the mail and good luck in your class” email and didn’t think anything more about it. The potential crisis had been averted.

This was the response I received the next day:

“Thank you so much! This is my first time ordering from Amazon, so I was a bit nervous at first. Thanks so much for making this easy. I really appreciate it. :)”

She didn’t know that I had missed the original email. She didn’t know how panicked I was trying to figure out how to get her book out on time. The only thing she saw was a couple of emails letting her know that everything was on track and giving her a status update.

That was all the reassurance she needed; enough so that she considered the transaction “easy”.

Just goes to show that the simple things like keeping the lines of communication open can make all the difference for our customers.

What is one of your customer service basics? Share in the comments below!

(photo credit prachi161187)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christy Smith
ThinkBlot Communications
I have over a decade of experience in client account management and satisfaction, and I have helped large organizations develop products strategies that gain maximum buy-in during implementation. In my previous roles, my client portfolio has included Fortune 500 companies in the Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, IT, and Telecommunications industries.


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