What Would Merlin Olsen Do?

MerlinOlson.JPGBefore I left on vacation, I sent my mom a Mother’s Day card, a gift and a Spring Rose Bouquet from FTD.com.

The first order of flowers—“delivered fresh from the grower”—arrived brown and wilted on the Thursday before I split.

I called and a very friendly customer service rep apologized and agreed to send a fresh arrangement.

But those flowers arrived brown and wilted, too, while I was away.

So earlier today, I sent FTD.com an e-mail requesting a refund. And, again, I received a gracious, agreeable reply. On a Sunday, no less. In less than two hours.

They even threw in a 20 percent discount on my next order.

At FTD.com, I’m sure there are metrics that show that they responded quickly and responsibly to both of my issues. (And they did.) But the company still lost me as a customer—and my trust as a consumer.

The problem with too many communications and customer service programs is that they aren’t integrated with a company’s operations. So problems repeat themselves, rather than getting truly resolved.

The best customer service is never having to contact customer service at all.

Image credit: eBay Item Number 350055571370