I almost spent $100 yesterday that I didn’t have to spend. So, I guess you could say that I made $100. How? By writing a 3 minute e-mail. You see, as we work on the final publishing stages of my daughter’s 2nd and 3rd books, I noticed a couple of mistakes in the finished product proof that Createspace (a self-publishing company, subsidiary of Amazon) sent us.
When I notified the customer service area of the mistakes, they informed me that they would look into it and let me know.
Like most companies, in our work with Createspace we’ve found a sprinkling of differing levels of customer service. Most everyone there has been very helpful, but we’ve run into a few employees who seem to think the bottom line of the company trumps a good reputation and good service. The first person I spoke with via e-mail was very friendly, but the second, a lead person, not so much. She sorta kinda nicely informed me that the mistakes were my fault and that she was “generously” offering to let us fix them for $100 instead of the regular $200.
Although I appreciated the discount, I couldn’t get past the fact that the things I was asking them to change were made very clear in the initial phone conversation with the design team.
My first thought was to just pay the $100 and let it go, but the more I thought about it, the more determined I was to not pay for their mistake.
I slept on it, and then kindly notified them yesterday morning that although I appreciated the discount, I wasn’t happy, considering I made our design specs very clear during the initial phone conversation.
A couple of hours later, I received a very nice note from a supervisor stating that they would happily make the changes, and any others I wanted, at no cost to me. And it was signed “Warmest regards”.
Not only did Createspace earn huge brownie points with us, but I once again feel totally confident in recommending them to others looking to self-publish their writings. Surveys report that a good customer service experience is usually shared with 1 person, but a bad customer service experience is shared with at least 10 people.
A well-run business knows that customer service truly is one of the most important aspects of running a business. You can have the best product in the world, but if your service sucks, you won’t last very long. And most of the employees we’ve run across at Createspace have understood how important a business’ reputation is, and have always gone above and beyond for us.
The moral of the story is that before you pay a fee (your fault or not), consider calling the company to see if they’re willing to refund it for you. I’ve used this technique of not paying fees in other areas too, for instance if I accidentally forgot to pay a bill (which rarely happens) or if for some reason it arrived late via mail. I’m always honest with them, and in turn, most companies are very gracious. So before you pay those fees, call the company and explain what happened. Worst case scenario, they say “no”. Best case scenario, you just saved yourself a fistful of dollars.