Issue Resolution: What happens when things go wrong?
If you have been in business for any length of time, at some point you realize that not every sale can go perfectly. At the time this article was written we had 4.8 Stars from shopper reviewed, a 5 Star rating from Google based on over 750 reviews and an A+ rating from the BBB. Having been recently scorned by a customer who never gave us a chance to resolve their installation issue, I spent a lot of time digging into our reviews. Most of them are amazing, but of course, I zero in on the ones that were less than perfect. I believe deep in my core that it is impossible to walk away from every transaction feeling it went perfectly well, but it is possible to walk away feeling like you were taken care of — or at minimum listened to. So if you made a purchase from us and it all went perfectly, please go ahead and tell the world. If things were less-than-perfect, please tell me so I can fix it.
I got an email from a company that invited me to contact their CEO. I did. I got a call back from a call center and it was really really clear their CEO never saw or intended to see the email. While I absolutely encourage you to try our customer service team first (800-956-4301 Option 1 or Service@garageflooringllc.com), I am happy to help personally. I don’t have a secretary. If you send me an email, it comes to me personally. If you call my cell, you are calling me on the same number my wife and kids use to reach me. If you are a customer, you should already have all my contact information. Just in case, we have placed it below.
My Contact Information
Office: 800-956-4301 x203
What else to do?
Often times customers just need help. One of the most powerful lines we ever hear from a customer is I messed up and I need some help, or I misunderstood, can you help me fix it. My team and I will bend over backwards to help.
Sometimes we screw up too. Maybe we shipped the wrong color or maybe our carrier did not show up when they were supposed to. Perhaps you need to return something and need some help. Just let us know what you need and when you (really) need it by and we will take reasonable steps to accommodate you.
One of the worst situations is when a customer is having an issue with a product they installed. That issue is even worse when it is a coating. I know it might be the last thing you want to hear, but addressing those issues is sometimes a process.
- Take some pictures and email them
- Explain the steps you took in detail — Yes, we know you followed all the directions 🙂
- Answer questions that we, the plant or the manufacturer might have. Sometimes there will need to be some back and forth.
- Fixing the real problem is important to everyone. Often, even if it was not the product, we can still find a way to help.
- Be Patient — Sometimes the customer is in CA, the plant is in NJ and we are in CO. Despite everyone’s best efforts there can be a lag.
- Communicate a solution — If you feel like you know the solution or want a specific resolution, you need to communicate that to us. Once you do that you have to understand that we need to take that resolution to the manufacturer and get some help from them. Understand that demanding something then and there ‘or else’ won’t help the situation. We have to follow a process.
A tale of two customers
Customer A: We received an email from a customer that said his floor was beautiful and great. The next day he complained about the odor. We replied with some information and he replied asking for some assistance. We did not hear from that customer for two weeks and we assumed everything was worked out. Apparently it wasn’t. The customer left for Europe and I got one of the nastiest sets of emails I have ever seen from a customer (actually the customer’s wife). She was demanding a refund that day. We apologized and tried to explain that it does not work that way. We would need to have the plant review the installation. Ultimately the customer refused to let anyone go over or review the installation. She decided to destroy the product, instead of letting the manufacturer review it! Nothing really got resolved and she used multiple accounts on multiple platforms to try and make us look bad. Fortunately, it all worked out in the long run. The customer’s frustration had gotten the best of them and she would not allow and reasonable process to take place. That makes it difficult.
Customer B: We had this amazing clear sealer. I have never had anything like it in the past and have yet to find a replacement. It was affordable, easy to install and really cool looking. I had put my name behind it and was promoting it personally. One of my customers called me one day with an issue. Then he sent me pictures. This amazing coating was coming off the floor. His floor looked horrible and he was upset. We got the manufacturer involved. They through several scenarios out that could have caused the issue and none of them ended up being correct. During the process, the manufacturer realized that the particle size was wrong and the product was not penetrating correctly. Eventually, they issued us a refund. The problem is the refund would not fix the customer’s issue! Fortunately, the customer was handy. We send the customer a gift card for a local rental place that had a grinder and he did the work to remove the failed product. We then sent the customer a much higher-end coating (not sealer). It was not an ideal situation for the customer or for us. The customer recognized that we were doing everything we could do to help. We recognized that the customer was being incredibly reasonable. We all walked away with our head high — and a very nice review post. We were also not happy with how the manufacturer addressed the issue, so even though it was a profitable line for us, we never purchased from them again.
The fact that customer ‘A’ had a problem caused by their misapplication and ventilation of a product known (and disclosed) to have a strong odor and that customer ‘B’ had an actual manufacturing defect is only part of the story. Customer B was equally frustrated but took the time to work through the process. If customer A had done the same, we absolutely could have helped them resolve the issue. The bottom line here is in order to resolve an issue, we need your help and your time to get to the bottom of it. But rest assured, we are dedicated to making sure you walk away happy.
My commitment is this. If you have an issue, let’s work through it together and get it resolved. Its that simple.