May 3, 2018
This is part of our occasional series called CX Stories, which are personal accounts by COPC Inc. employees about their own positive customer experience. This story is from Deb Scholz, human resources coordinator, COPC Inc.
What does a multi-billion-dollar enterprise-level company like Amazon have to do with me? Where is the common ground? Experience has taught me that it lies at the intersection of real life and their customer care.
My daughter was pregnant with her first child and living out of state. A baby shower was being planned for her by local family and friends which I was invited to, but scheduling wouldn’t allow for me to be there. So, I wanted to send a gift that was extra special since I wasn’t going to be able to attend. I looked through her Amazon baby registry and decided to order her the Windsor Glider and Ottoman in white with gray cushions for the baby’s pink/white/gray nursery. It was the one item on her list she wanted the most. Imagining how many quiet, precious hours she and my little grand-princess would spend in that chair together helped me decide on that gift over all the others. So, I decided to take the plunge and order it on Amazon.com.
I was up against a couple of challenges, though. I was relatively new to online shopping, and I had waited so long to order that it was going to require expedited shipping if it was going to arrive in time for her shower that Saturday. I was placing my order on Thursday – only two days before the shower.
The online ordering process went smoothly – even for a novice like me. The colors she wanted were in stock, and I even navigated the waters of paying for expedited shipping. At the time, I wasn’t an Amazon Prime member, so I ponied up and paid for two-day shipping because the order simply had to arrive by Saturday!
After I placed my order, my heart sank when I read the words telling me my estimated delivery date would be on Monday. But I paid for two-day shipping! What happened?! A rookie mistake is what happened. I didn’t realize my order was not eligible for a Saturday delivery.
As I was bemoaning the fact that my gift wasn’t going to get there on time, I thought, “What do I have to lose? I’ll call their customer service department and see if they can help me.” I didn’t really hold out much hope that I would even be able to speak with a live agent, let alone get my order there on time, but it was worth a try.
A quick Google search produced the phone number I needed, and I placed the call. I was pleasantly surprised that in record time I was talking to a live agent. She patiently listened as I lamented about missing my daughter’s baby shower and how my Amazon order wasn’t going to arrive on time. “Is there anything at all you can do to help?” I asked.
After a kind and genuinely sympathetic response, she took a minute to look up my order and familiarize herself with the details. Then she looked to see if there was a distribution center close enough to my daughter’s home that had the glider and ottoman in stock. And upon confirming that there was, she said, “Ma’am, what I’m going to do is change your order and ship your daughter’s glider and ottoman overnight so that it gets delivered tomorrow [Friday] in plenty of time for the shower; and I’m going to waive the additional shipping fees.”
If she was in the room, I would’ve hugged her. What she did went way beyond merchandise, business, shipping details, or money. It got personal. I was sad enough that I wasn’t going to be able to attend my daughter’s baby shower, but to miss the shower AND not have my gift arrive in time would have been very disappointing for me. My Amazon customer service agent understood that and got it there for me – and with time to spare.
I’ve since become an Amazon Prime member and have developed a knack for online shopping. But I won’t soon forget my experience with that agent. Needless to say, it was a very positive customer experience for me, and it definitely secured my future business with Amazon. The shipping charge that the agent waived has been more than made up in the volume of shopping I’ve done with them since then. So, looking at it from that perspective, I can see that it made good business sense. But at the time, it just felt like Amazon was saving the day and doing me a huge personal favor. I appreciate that Amazon empowers their agents to go the extra mile to give their customers a positive outcome. In so doing, they are creating a loyal customer base – one personal story at a time.