Posted by: Steve Marr on Jul 02, 2011
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Every day businesses make millions of deliveries to customers ranging from a pizza to $50,000.00+ items. In many ways, effective, on time deliveries are a hallmark of service.
One delivery issue, a small issue in the scheme of commerce, highlights how a business can fall short, and not understand the impact on customers.
A customer ordered 5 trees from a local nursery, and paid cash at time of purchase. The nursery agreed to deliver and plant the trees the following Wednesday morning. When the trees failed to show up, the customer called at 11:00 AM to follow up, and was told, “”We needed to have the crew that delivers the trees do other tasks at the nursery, we will be out in the afternoon.” No call was made to the customer explaining the delay earlier. One problem was, the customer kept the morning free, but had commitments in the afternoon and was unable to supervise the planting, asking the crew to plant as indicated by stakes.
The second issue was four trees, not five were delivered. When the customer returned to the nursery to follow up on the tree, he was told, “Sorry, we can refund if you like, or give you the tree now to take with you”. The tree was a bit big for the vehicle.
The customer asked the nursery to deliver and plant the tree, given the earlier commitment and the error was the responsibility of the nursery. The owner replied, “We can’t cover an additional delivery cost, you can either have a refund, or take the tree with you”
The customer said, “Well, to be candid, I paid for five trees, you promised to deliver and plant five trees for the price agreed and I believe you need to honor your word. I understand you may lose money, but I will lose if you fail to deliver as you promised”.
The owners perspective was, “You can’t expect me to absorb another $75.00 delivery charge to bring one tree?” The customers response was, “To me the issue is your promise and integrity. You have a choice to make, you can either do what you said you would do, or not.”
The owner declined to deliver and follow through. A customer was lost who likely would have repaid the delivery fee many times over. King David wrote, the Lord would bless those “… who keeps his oath even when it hurts” (Psalm 15:4 NIV).
Keeping our commitments, our promises may cost us money at times but the promise from the Lord is we will receive a blessing.
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business coach
Learn how to improve your customer service, order here: http://bit.ly/r0yWBO