HEY, LISTEN UP!

listen

It is amazing how simple one-on-one communication can go so badly that it results in a total disconnect between people, groups of people, even nations of people. I advocate teaching communications as a full-semester course in our high schools.  I would suggest further that a high percentage of its content be concerned with the merits of good listening.   We could all use some lessons in learning how to listen better.  Hey, did you listen to what I just said?

Why, just by coincidence, I had an on-line chat yesterday that is an excellent example of how poor listening can affect whether or not a customer returns to do more business with a company. I had only one question, shown in caps. I don’t need to elaborate…the chat speaks for itself. Here, listen:

Hello, how can I help you?

Me: CAN  YOU CONFIRM THAT I PAID EXTRA FOR FASTER DELIVERY of letterhead that I ordered?  It is still in transit.

Just a moment…

(3-4 minutes go by)

Sorry for the delay. We’re working on getting you connected with an agent as soon as possible. Please bear with us and we will connect you to a member of the Overnight Prints Support Team shortly. Thank you for your patience.

(5-6 minutes go by)

Sorry for the delay. We’re working on getting you connected with an agent as soon as possible. Please bear with us and we will connect you to a member of the Overnight Prints Support Team shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Don:

Hi Marc. Thank you for chatting with Overnight Prints. What is your order number?

Me: hold on please while I get it…2103XXXX…I THOUGHT I PAID A PREMIUM FOR DELIVERY ON THE 9TH which is the date noted on my receipt, but it has not arrived and when I tracked it, it said it won’t be here until tomorrow (2/14)

Don:

Don: One moment while I take a look.

Don: According to UPS it will get delivered on Wednesday [7/15]. If the order is delivered after the estimated delivery date you had requested we can do a partial refund for the shipping difference.

Me: not cool…DIDN’T I PAY EXTRA TO  HAVE IT ON THE 9TH?

Don: I understand your frustration. We are doing all that is possible to get the order to you.

Me: can you please answer my question. I know you cannot correct the situation and I am stuck dealing with a disappointed client, but CAN YOU SIMPLY CONFIRM THAT I PAID A PREMIUM FOR FASTER DELIVERY ON THE 9TH, how much was that and yes I’ll take a refund on that…thank you

Don: Yes it was originally scheduled for the 9th. An internal reprint had to be issued on the order due to production issues.

Me: Don…it is a simple question. Unfortunately, the answer is not on any of the paper work your company has made available to me…sooooo, HOW MUCH WAS THE CHARGE FOR THE PREMIUM DELIVERY?

Don: It was $12.83.

Me: eureka! will that be refunded to me?

Don: You will be able to request a partial refund for the shipping difference.

Me: and how do I do that?

Don: Once you receive the order you can come back to chat and we will do it for you.

Me: well, i guess i will be back at this on Wednesday…I sure hope the order arrives with no other issues….bye.

Don: I apologize I’m not able to do more. Thank you for chatting with us and for choosing Overnight Prints. Have a great day!

Thank you for contacting us.

Chat session disconnected.

—–

Shortly after the chat ended, this showed up:

       How would you rate your chat with Don? [check off number of stars]

stars

I asked the question five times before I got an answer.  Even then it was not a complete answer.  Don told me the shipping charge, but he did not tell me how much of that charge was the extra amount I paid to have delivery by the 9th.  If the company had taken lessons from colleagues like amazon or zappos they should have changed the delivery to overnight status when they finally did ship it, along with sending me an apology e-mail with a refund of the extra bucks I paid.  Needless to say, I didn’t check off any stars and I  am somewhat anxious about exactly what will arrive tomorrow six days late, if indeed, the package does show up on my doorstep.

I have to admit, I order a lot of things via the Internet and I rarely have any problems…but that is exactly why they stick out so much more when they do occur.  Overnight Prints should at least consider changing its name.

*****

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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