The Customer Service MUST that Even the Best Companies (cough, Amazon) Sometimes Mess Up

I think I am probably not alone in believing that I am special. What I mean is, we all want to believe we are special. And we want to be treated as if we are.

And it hurts a tiny bit when we aren’t. Right?

So, when I went to Amazon the day before the launch of the Kindle Fire to check on the status of my order (which I was super excited about), and saw this graphic – I thought “Woo! They are shipping them early!”

Then I went and checked my order status, and what to my wondering eyes did appear but…an unshipped Kindle Fire. A still-cancelable because it wasn’t in the shipping process yet Kindle Fire.


I am an Amazon Prime member. I pre-ordered my shiny new gadget on October 11th. I am SPECIAL. Yet, apparently I am not.

Now, I know that they probably had people who ordered before me.  And they are special, too. Or at least THEY think so. But my “Woo!” faded away pretty quickly. And then I was disappointed. Why were they advertising that they were shipping when my order was not yet shipping?

Around 11PM that night I received a message that my Kindle Fire was shipped. If I hadn’t checked the site earlier, I would have been psyched that it shipped the day before the launch date. But I was already feeling oh so un-special – so the “early” notice was a little too late.

All Amazon would have had to do to avert my evening of un-special-feeling-ness would have been to hold off on posting that “Shipping Now” graphic until the next day. One day.

I am sure they wanted to start capturing the crowd that doesn’t like to wait-list. I get that. And they probably sold a ton of low-priced tablet hybrid thingamajigs that night.

I received my package right when I originally thought I would. All commitments were met.

But as shiny and fun as my brand-new toy is, it is still a little tarnished with disappointment.

How do you manage your relationships with customers so that you never make them feel un-special?

Comments (3)

  1. I’m have been in a client facing position at my workplace for many years. When Things don’t go right for my client and they are disappointed I have a method to deal with it

    1. Whether or not it is directly my fault, I always accept personal responsibly for the situation and I don’t play the blame game. There is plenty of time to deal with that after the clients issue has been resolved.

    2. I put myself in my their shoes for the moment and I let them know how I would feel if this same thing happened to me. I do that because I truly do care how they perceive the service I provide.

    3. I discuss and offer resolution to their situation and then keep them posted as to the progress of that resolution.

    4. When the error has been corrected I engage my client in a canidid conversation and ask them what other issues they maybe having with our services and how do they think we could improve. I listen because, again, I really care about my client’s experience. I always end that conversation by thanking them for their business because I know they have many choices for the service I provide.

    The bottom line is, if it’s my mistake they will know it and if it’s not they will know they have an advocate on their side working toward resolution. They will also walk away knowing how appreciated they and their business are to me and the company I work for. Hey! I’m a shareholder in my company. It’s in my own best interest to work through problems to arrive at the best possible outcome!

  2. Pingback: MyGreenlight Blog Roundup « Keith Ferrazzi

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