Complaint Handling Can Decide Customer’s Loyalty

Most people are probably willing to overlook a mistake by a vendor or merchant if there is a sufficient apology and a sincere effort to right the wrong. This is something that all of us in the business of delivering service or products should keep in mind. We are all going to trip and fall someday. It is the grace and style in which we get up that determines the future business relationship after the fall.

Many small to medium size business fall short on the recovery simply because they think small and they also think about how they will handle a problem from the shorted-sited vision of “how much money will this cost” to make a situation right.

When things go bad, customers tend to initiate a credit card chargeback and dispute the charge. We here at Chosen Payments get to hear both sides of the story. We also see how our merchants “attempt” to reconcile things. In a real life example, a limo was traveling two hours away from its home base to deliver eight passengers to a dinner and ultimately a concert when the limo blew a tire. Okay, these things happen. Maybe there was something in the roadway. Maybe the tires were old. Either way, flats happen.

Long story short, the jack broke. Another limo had to be dispatched from more than an hour away. By the time it arrived, the original limo had been on the side of the road for over two hours. There would be no fancy dinner before the concert. In fact, the group would completely miss the opening act of the concert as well as the first few songs of the headliner act.

The original trip had been booked from 3:00pm to 1:00am. Obviously, that part of the trip never changed as the pick-up was on time and the concert ended on time. The limo company had charged their client nearly $1200 and the client disputed the entire charge saying that their night was ruined. The limo company vehemently opposed the chargeback and cited they had all the expense of a second limo, the fuel for both vehicles, the cost of the new jack and payroll for both chauffeurs. They asserted that they had delivered the group to the venue where they watched “most of the concert”.

While it is our job to fight for our merchants and successfully win a chargeback, sometimes we have to scratch our heads at the decisions made by our merchants. A Chosen Payments motto and culture is to deliver “White Glove Service”. So, in our opinion, a complete refund would have been a much better offering and perhaps endeared a previously loyal customer. In this case, the customer will likely never return because of the entire situation. Our best recommendations are to ask the customer how you can make a bad situation right and make your offer based on how you would want to be treated if the situation was reversed and you were the customer.