When cases come across our desks, they are not always issues that can be neatly wrapped up in one contact.  But with repeatedly delaying resolution for these cases, how do we stay squarely in the positive view of our customers?  It is quite simple: by being reliable.  But what does dependability look like when we have to tell our customers countless times that we have not yet solved their issues?service-1013724_1280

Kevin had ordered a lot of clothing from a small retailer and had to return several pieces as they just weren’t for him.  Because his original purchases were split across multiple transactions, the company tried to simplify things and processed the returns as a single lump sum return to whichever card Kevin chose.  However, this caused an unforeseen problem.  “I checked my credit card statement a few days later and did not see the credit processing or already processed.  It was nearly a $400 return, so I panicked a bit and went to get my receipt.  Then I really panicked because I couldn’t find it.”  Kevin immediately called Customer Service to ask for help.

The first representative listened intently and reassured Kevin that she could try to look up the transaction from their transaction history and get to the bottom of things.  She quickly found it and noted that everything looked normal on their end.  She gave Kevin all information they had on the transaction and asked him to call his credit card company and then contact her back so they could fix the transaction.  Kevin did so and called the retailer back.  The representative immediately let Kevin know that she could not simply resolve his problem, but a supervisor would have many more tools at her disposal.  She took Kevin’s number and promised a supervisor would contact him shortly.  “Normally I would think that a ‘We’ll call you back’ would be a 50/50 shot of them trying to get rid of me or hearing from them days from now, but the lady I had been dealing with was so polite and professional, I felt like I could trust what she said.”

Just as promised, a supervisor called Kevin about an hour later.  She asked a few more questions so that she could reach out to their accountant to on Kevin’s behalf, and then promised Kevin she would call him back as soon as she had spoken to accounting.  “I didn’t feel like I was being given the runaround, I felt like she was on my side and wanted to get this fixed for me, so when she told me that she would again need more time, it seemed totally reasonable.”  The supervisor called him back yet again, only to tell Kevin that she would need more time to resolve his case with the credit card company.  She asked him to be patient for up to two weeks during which time she would actively check for a rejection of the transaction and process it to another card for him.  Kevin happily agreed.  “Both ladies I had spoken with were so reliable; every time they told me something, I could count on it.  So when I got the bad news that it could take up to two weeks for the supervisor to do anything to get me my money back, I knew that she was telling me the whole truth and really would be working to fix this.  I knew she wouldn’t forget about me and my problem.”

Good customer service doesn’t always mean that we’re able to wave a magic wand and instantly resolve our customers’ problems.  But showing that we are dependable and invested in making our customers happy can inoculate our customers from feeling very unhappy about the delays and strengthen our customer relationships.