Customer Service Done Right: Amazon

I’ve been known to use the immense power of Portland’s Finest Advertising Blog to rip companies who either can’t or don’t feel like taking care of their customers. Today I want to salute one who got it right:

My wife had a  significant birthday this past weekend. As part of her gift, I ordered her the new Amazon Kindle. Although I ordered it nearly a month in advance, it was already on backorder, and they couldn’t give me a delivery date. As the birthday weekend got closer, I resigned myself to the probability that it wouldn’t arrive in time.

Until the Thursday before, when Amazon emailed me to say that the Kindle had shipped. I was delighted until I looked closer, and saw the deliver date of Tuesday, September 7. This was a problem, because:

1. As an Amazon Prime member, I was entitled to automatic two-day shipping on all orders. Two days from Thursday would have been Saturday.

2. With the birthday weekend upon me, the difference between Saturday delivery and Tuesday delivery was huge.

I called Amazon. The first person I spoke with explained that they had shipped the package via UPS ground, and since it was already en route, there was nothing she could do. So I asked for a supervisor.

This brought be to Tawny in Amazon’s “Leadership Team.” Tawny listened to my tale of woe, understood the implications right away, and put me on hold to check with UPS. When she came back, she said that she was “90 percent sure” that my package would be delivered on Saturday.

What about the other ten percent, I asked?

She said she was going to monitor the package through Friday, and that if it looked like they would miss the Saturday delivery, she’d have another Kindle sent via overnight shipping. She promised to call me with an update on Friday. I was dubious, but it seemed like my best option, so I thanked her and ended the call. My assumption was that she would forget all about it as soon as she hung up.

I was wrong.

Friday afternoon, my phone rang. Tawny was calling to say that she’d been tracking my package and didn’t trust UPS to deliver it on Saturday, so she was having it re-routed back to Amazon, and shipping out a replacement. Overnight delivery.

9:15 Saturday morning, my doorbell rang, and a driver handed me the Kindle. Problem solved, in the nick of time.

I suppose one could quibble: the argument could be made that I shouldn’t have had to ask for a supervisor. The customer service rep I initially spoke with should have been able to take care of this.

But there are plenty of places where multiple levels of management will shrug, apologize, and move on. When your group is called the “Leadership Team”, the expectations are a little higher.

Tawny’s empathy, hard work and follow-up lived up to and exceeded those expectations.  Amazon is lucky to have her.

Wanna know what else I did for my wife’s birthday? Read this.


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