Working With World-Class Customer Service

September 18, 2009 at 3:09 am 2 comments

What’s more valuable to you? Price or service? Would you pay a few more bucks for the same product if you knew it was backed by quality service?

We had an experience recently that spotlighted the benefits of working with a high-quality company that believes in customer service and in the end, doing what was right for the customer.

Here is what happened.

In late June, we had a customer pick up our Arkham Horror bundle – almost $200 in games. This is not a small order. They get the package and showed their game group – the game group says “not interested – don’t like the theme”.  So, this customer calls me up and tells me this story. He starts asking me about a series of other games he wants to get and that he is going to trade or sell off the Arkham bundle. I told him to send it back to us and we would provide him the 125% money back guarantee.  The experience of gaming is what we sell, and I wanted him to have a positive gaming experience. The games had not even been opened, so I assumed I could just restock them into inventory. They are popular enough that I was not concerned.

So, he ships them back to us – but he shipped them to Amazon because some of the products in the bundle were originally shipped to him from there, while the rest was shipped from a supplier – rather than shipping them back to our posted address.

I was unaware this had occured, until it had already happened and Amazon had received the package. Mind you, we had already sent him replacement games. So, we were out the Arkham bundle, the replacement games, AND the multiple shipping costs – this was to the tune of about $400 now.

Amazon was confused and considered it a “problem package” and tossed it to the side – possibly never to be seen again.

I went back and forth with Support to see what we could do. No dice. Just the runaround.

We finally got a supervisor involved. Immediately they waved the Terms of Service at me and said it was shipped incorrectly and they were not responsible for any of the package – even though some of the games in the package originally shipped from them. They also claimed it was impossible to find the box – but the box had my name on it and my business name on it. We even had tracking numbers to work from. The fact was that if Amazon did the “right thing” rather than what the Terms of Service said, they were certainly not going to take a ding on the bottom line. But, it vastly affected MY bottom line.

Essentially I told the supervisor that his company needed to step up and do the right thing – refund the cost of the lost products, find the box and put those games back into my inventory so they could be  resold, or ship the box to me and let me ship them back to Amazon correctly so they can go into inventory. Blah blah blah and it seemed like they might be destined to let this just go away – even though we were only talking about $146.00, as compared to some of their larger customers.

Last week (now September), I got an e-mail from them saying they were going to credit my account for the games. Then, this week, I see $146 credited to my account at Amazon.

NICE JOB AMAZON! TWO THUMBS UP FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMER (no matter what the Terms of Service says). They treated me correctly!

I point this out becasue it is important which retailers you choose to buy from and unfortunately you don’t always know the good ones until you have a problem. That is whenthey shine or it fall on their face – when you actually care.

This is why we work with Amazon. They are the best at being an alternate sales channel and at fullfilment of customer’s orders. Are they the easiest to work with? No, there is a lot of labor that goes into shipping the games up to them. But, when we needed them, they were there.

Best Dang Games could be like the other companies. We could just put a picture of a box up on the site and sell it. You receive the package and everyone’s happy. But that’s not what we do. We sell the experience of the gaming hobby and introduce  you to the community. When we actually interact with you, as a customer, we do our best to remember you – especially if you are a returning customer.

We typically offer more information about the games you are buying, we offer you videos that show you how the game works, we provide player aids and links to the online rules, if they are available. We offer this blog you are reading and we offer news and updates via Twitter. 

We do this because you are buying more than a box. You are buying an advocate and a partner that wants to see you enjoy EVERY game you get from us. That’s why we don’t have the massive catalog of games other stores promote. We carry the BEST games. We have played most of the games we promote on our site.   We have turned away games from the site because we did not believe they qualified as a “best dang game”. This helps you sift through the mass of games that are available and allows you to focus your purchasing dollars on the good stuff. You don’t have to TRY something and if you don’t like it, trade it off. Technically, you don’t even have to do a ton of time-consuming research to compare this game to that game. We’ve done that for you. Our catalog is a “best of breed” catalog.

We have actually had people say “What’s wrong? You can’t compete on price, so you throw out the “quality service” tag line!”. I am sorry, but I think these people have missed the boat. Sure, WalMart may have the best prices, but when it comes to service, Costco has them beat – and people pay a membership to shop there.

The fact is this: Every online board game retailer is selling the same boxes. They are not all selling the same experience. What experience do you want?

Best Dang Games beleives we are giving you the best service and shopping experience available in the hobby gaming market and we hope you agree that service and caring about you, our customers, is more important to you than $1.00 or $3.00 on a game.

If you have had any experiences with us or other retailers that spotlight what we are saying (positive or negative) share them with everyone here as a comment on this article. We would love to see if we are off base on this or if more companies need to care about their customers first.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gregory  |  September 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Agreed,

    The reason I deal with Best Dang Games and continue to do so is because of the service. You have been exceptionally helpful and show a wealth of experience in the products you sell.

    I choose quality over price every day of the week and twice on Sundays 🙂 and I feel someone needs to have a really bad service quality experience to truly appreciate just how important a good quality service is and that it is worth the small premium. Being one of those individuals I can honestly say please keep your focus on quality service rather than price (with in reason of course) as this for me personally is the very first consideration when making a purchase.

    Please keep it up

    Reply
  • 2. Seth  |  September 22, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    My girlfriend ordered shoes from Zappos.com. They upgraded her to super-fast airmail for free, then let her return shoes that she doesn’t want (whether they don’t fit or just don’t look right) anytime in the next six months or something, for no charge, and they pay for all the shipping. It’s an insane degree of customer service, and after two boxes full of shoes that she returned, her third order finally had some shoes that were perfect for her. (as well as a pair she returned.)

    Are shoes from Zappos slightly more expensive than other places? Probably (I don’t actually know because I don’t buy shoes online). But the customer service there is second to none, and knowing that nothing can possibly go wrong with your order because the company will take care of you seems like a compelling reason to shop somewhere.

    Thus, your 125% guarantee and stories of how you make sure people enjoy your games are heartening. (While Arkham Horror may not be for everyone, I think it’s still a great game, and I think by selling only the best games you’ll rarely have to follow through on that money-back policy. Although I have to say that in spite of being well-known, I feel that Trivial Pursuit is inferior to your other great party games like Wits&Wagers.)

    Reply

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