Fixed It Like Clockwork

, , , , , | Working | June 12, 2020

I work at a store that does personalized engravings for people. It’s very common for us to add special messages or monograms to people to mark milestones in their lives, either to something they bring in, or to objects we sell for the purpose.

One day, a young woman comes into our store with a clock that had been engraved at one of our sister stores in another state. Her fiancé had secretly purchased it as a wedding gift to her while visiting his family. He had picked it up at the store but had liked the wrapping and did not unwrap it at the time. 

When he gave it to her, they discovered that there were several mistakes in the engraving. The date for their upcoming wedding was incorrect and her name was misspelled. Her fiancé had tried calling the original location where they got the engraving done but just got the runaround. He was basically told, “We already have your money, so… too bad.” 

Although she is perfectly polite and kind to me, it is clear that the customer is very upset, and I don’t blame her. She has had to drive over sixty miles to come to our location — the nearest to them — to see if meeting in person might work better than calling. 

It’s a little tricky to look up their order, since it was made through another location, but fortunately, she has brought their paperwork, which helps. It also shows that her fiancé had put down the correct date and spelling, so the mistake was entirely on our side.

I manage to not only get the order entirely redone — correctly! — and have it shipped to them to save the customer from having to make the long drive again, but I’m able to get my manager to approve a 50% refund for the trouble and inconvenience. 

I also tell my manager about the other location, and she says that she’ll escalate it to her superiors, but I have no idea if anyone working at that other location gets in any trouble over it.

Nicest of all, two weeks later, my manager calls me into her office to have me listen to a message someone left on her voicemail. It is the customer, calling to say that they received the engraved clock and that it is perfect, and also to compliment my customer service. “We were planning never to use your company ever again after the initial trouble, but after exemplary service from [My Name], we will certainly be back. At least, to your location!”

I tried to go a little bit above and beyond, because I felt like my company had messed up, but it really meant a lot to me that she took the time to call and say something nice. People often call to complain or criticize, but I can’t think of another time someone called simply to be kind.

It’s been a few years and I’ve long since left that job, but to this day, that lady remains my favorite customer.

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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