Friday, May 4, 2007

Online Buying

Decided I would talk about this subject today, as it is very frustrating to me. When I go into a brick and mortar store I expect certain things out of their staff. I expect them to be courteous, answer questions I have, show me where something is if I can't find it, thank me when I'm done for doing business with them, and the most important, I want to see a smile!!

Now I know online buying is somewhat different than that but in some ways a lot alike. When I ask a business a question through an e-mail, I expect that business to get back to me in a timely, courteous way, expect them to send me an order confirmation e-mail, your item has been shipped e-mail and a thank you somewhere in one of those. Kinda hard to see that smile online though!!

I haven't had the greatest experience with a few online companies lately. One answered my question about an item they carried but wouldn't answer when I asked where's my order, it should of been here. Well finally receive it just to find out they lied about when it was shipped, it was shipped out after I e-mailed them asking where it was instead of 8 days before, when they said it was being shipped. Not very good customer service in my book!! Of course it was a store to which I would of been making multiple purchases from but because of their lack of customer service I will be on the lookout for another place to buy from.

Another one was, my husband and I placed an order just to find out it was out of stock and they had no idea when it would be in. They did though take our money!! Go figure!! Finally have to make a phone call, not getting anywhere through e-mails, still don't know when they will be in but they do find a few of what we needed and at their expense ship them to us. Weeks pass by and still no word on our order, another phone call to them just to be hung up on because they are busy and I guess we aren't one of there high dollar buyers so we don't matter. Who knows!! Call back the next day and tell them to put our money back into our account and when they come in let us know and we will re-order them, they say no problem and say they are sorry. Move forward another few weeks and still no money back in account, warrants another phone call just to be told sorry don't know what happened, here's your paperwork on our desk, will take care of it right away. Next day money back in account. Yes, finally. Move on, order from another company, get order in a matter of days even though they are nowhere as good as the ones we initially ordered from the other company. Fast forward another couple of weeks to find our first order in the mailbox, panic because if they take the money back out, it will bounce our account since we only put money in it when we order online. Warrants another phone call to let them know that and they had no idea they had put the money back in our account! Duh! So finally they tell us thanks for being so honest, keep the items with our apologies.

So it makes a person wonder how these people stay in business. Can find my first items through another company, as there are many who sell them, but was trying to help the little guy. The second one we have no choice because they are the only company to sell a brand of item we use.

We have purchased a lot of items online and have gotten the best customer service a person could want and for that, they have us as a repeat customer.

So if you have an online business you really need to think about how you treat your customers so they will come back and also refer others to your site. If you don't care about the customer then I would imagine you probably won't be an online store for very long!


Carol Dean said...

Excellent points! I believe that online business needs to go that extra step in customer service to show that there are people who care on the other end of the transaction.

Bonny said...

Couldn't agree more - there is nothing worse than bad customer service! Basic courtesy goes a long way when dealing with people, regardless of the setting.