Amazon has received accolades in recent years for its customer service, including awards from J.D. Power and Associates, the National Retail Federation Foundation and The Temkin Group, a research and consulting firm focused on customer experience. This week, I got to see firsthand why Amazon earned these high ratings.
I recently purchased a mop cover from Amazon. I took a risk when I bought it, because it was difficult to tell from the online listing whether it was the right one for my mop. I decided to take the $7 plunge and purchase it, figuring I could return it and get some of my money back if it was not the right fit.
Unfortunately, the mop cover was too small for my mop. I went into my Amazon account to initiate a return, but the only return shipping method offered was the United Parcel Service (UPS). The cost of sending it back via UPS would have taken a big chunk out of my refund amount. I emailed Amazon on Monday afternoon to ask if the company could add the postal service as a return option, so I could reduce my shipping costs.
I received a reply to my message within an hour. The customer service representative told me, “Because the cost of returning this item would be prohibitively expensive, there’s no need to return it. You’re welcome to keep, donate or dispose of the item –whichever option is most appropriate and convenient for you. To help you with this, I’ve requested a full refund in the amount of $7.47 to your original payment method.”
I was very pleasantly surprised. I expected Amazon to tell me UPS was my only option. Instead, the company gave me all my money back, without putting me to the trouble of returning the item. This is excellent customer service.
I realize Amazon is a huge company that can afford to eat $7.47, and I may not get a refund in similar circumstances in the future. But the company did not have to give me a refund at all. I’m the one who ordered the wrong product, and the responsibility to return it was mine.
Amazon’s gracious response in circumstances like these is sure to enhance customer loyalty and keep it high in the rankings of class-leading customer service experiences.
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