I’ve worked in customer service for my entire work career: first as a retail sales associate through high school and college, as a helpdesk technician for a multi-national corporation, as an ESL teacher and assistant and even now, my position basically boils down to a very service-y role. All that experience makes me perhaps the worst kind of consumer, because my expectations can be a little high when I am out shopping. Some companies meet my ridiculous demands, and others are a little less easy to deal with (have you ever been drunk at the hand of an airline who upgraded you to first class, only to arrive at your connecting airport to find that your next flight is oversold and you were bumped? Yeah, I’ve had better flight experiences.) Here are a few companies that I have had fantastic customer service experiences with!
Sephora – While logging in to my Beauty Insider account a few weeks ago, I noticed that my most recent purchase (a pretty hefty one, at that) wasn’t listed on my transactions. Social media is always my first line of communication because it’s the easiest for me to manage, and their community engagement team was fully empowered to drop the missing points into my account with just a few direct messages. There was also a time a few years ago where I finally mustered up the courage to buy Flowerbomb, my now-signature scent. I ordered a travel size, but when it arrived, the bottle was open, and some of the liquid had leaked out. After a quick phone call, they sent a replacement out immediately, and didn’t even ask for the original to be sent back.
Nordstrom – Another social media success, these guys are the epitome of customer service cool. I had never shopped with Norsdtrom until last fall, and I reached out to them a few times with questions about shipping on Twitter and Facebook. They responded quickly and were super helpful. Nordstrom also offers a live chat on their website and I’ve utilized that several times while looking for specific things or if I’ve had sizing questions. (As far as sizing, I’ve always ordered on their recommendations and not been disappointed.) In my last order, I was shipped the wrong color of dress. The Twitter team phoned me to make sure I received the right color and size, and I had the replacement dress the next day. These guys are champions.
Bing Bang NYC – I don’t think I ever included my lightning bolt earrings in a favorites post, but I should have. I got them in March and wore them every day until one of my Energy bras took hold of the post in just the right way and it popped out of my ear. We found the earring, thank goodness, but the back was lost to the ages (aka, the carpet of the Wyndham Smoky Mountains.) None of my other earring backs fit it securely enough for me to feel comfortable that I wouldn’t lose the earring, so I shot an email over to their customer service asking if I could purchase an extra back. Within a half hour, I had a response that they would drop an extra in the mail for me. Awesome. (Maybe I should have tried this with Tiffany & Co. to avoid that heartbreak.) I had the package within a week, and they not only included one, but about six of them. A+++++.
Amazon – I have had a couple hit or miss experiences with Amazon. Most recently felt like a miss – they mailed a package to a billing address and then were extremely condescending while I was trying to sort out what happened. But a couple years ago I ordered a Muppets gift set, received delivery confirmation from the courier (a company I’d never heard of, but that Amazon apparently uses regularly,) and couldn’t wait to get home that day and rip into the package. But when I got home… nothing. Nothing on my doorstep, in my mailbox, or in the complex office. I spoke with a representative who took ownership of the issue, calling me back several times for followup, and they overnighted the replacement to me with Fed Ex.