Ever wonder why customers are no longer shopping at your online store? That no matter how many marketing emails you send, catalogs you send or even phone calls, your former customers no longer wish to deal with you? Today, we join the league of customers who decided to abandon a previously favorite online store.
We have always bought our promotional materials and holiday giveaways from this one online company. We have bought promotional calculators, mousepads, magnets, pens, clocks, and other items only from this one online store — and each time, quantity averages about 300-500.
But each time, customer service has become sloppier and sloppier. For our last 3 orders, the invoice is nowhere to be found on the shipped items. We had to call them up — and calling them up meant spending at least an hour or so just to get through to them. It’s voicemail after voicemail, and emails are just as bad. This company normally took 2-3 days to respond to emails! We had to call them just for them to send their invoice. And each time they send their invoice, they slap us with late fees! Why late fees when it was their fault for not including the invoice in the product shipment in the first place?
The first time we saw the late fees, we actually paid it thinking that we might have misplaced the invoice in our excitement over the promo items. Having learned our lesson the first time, we now check every shipment received to see whether the invoice is indeed included in the shipment or not. The second time, we contested the late fees and they agreed to waive it. But recently, it happened again – item came with no invoice and late fees were assessed in the invoice mailed to us a couple of weeks after delivery of the item. We called them again contesting the late fees, and again, they agreed to waive it.
But we do not like the pattern we are seeing — deliberately excluding the invoice in the shipment, and assessing late fees in the follow-up invoice sent. Our decision? Ditch them! Buy from another company that will respect us more as a customer. We’re definitely not their biggest client, but like all customers, we’d like to think we’re special!
Imagine if you were that company, and you find that sales are decreasing and customers are no longer coming back. And you do not know why — that the reason lies in the poor way your business is doing fulfillment and billing. The lesson here is to be constantly on the lookout for every signals of customer unhappiness and review every single process in how you do your business.