What frustrates me a lot is when…

I’d love to say that I’m Zen enough that nothing bothers me much anymore. And to some degree, that’s an honest statement.

Then, on the other hand, when I spend money, and the company I give it to royally messes up a gift, it does kind of frustrate me.

There’s one sure way of not getting any repeat business and having your business suck wind…

That’s when a customer (me) purchases an item as a gift (for my Mom), and the company discovers it’s out of stock when trying to fulfill the order. Instead of checking with the customer (me)—they send another in stock item. This confuses the customer (me) when the gift recipient (Mom) calls and leaves me a message thanking me for her gift that wasn’t what I ordered.


This may sound a bit confusing and more like a fantasy tale than reality.

I assure you, it’s real. I’m still floored that this large food company did that.

I wrote to them about my frustration and how they substituted my order and sent a gift that contained items my mother was allergic to.

(BTW my Mom must have thought I had a memory issue because I sent her things she couldn’t eat. Ummmm. I felt like a real dufus, thanks gift company.)

So all they did was send me a simple apology, and said what I bought for her was out of stock so they substituted it for what they had – that’s it. No offer to fix it or make it right. I was floored.

I replied back and basically asked for a refund or what they could do to make it right.

When they responded, they said they were sending my Mom the original gift I ordered for her. (Ummm why didn’t they do that in the first place? Or let me know it was out of stock so I could pick something else?!)

And they didn’t charge me for it. (That was nice.) Yet my Mom didn’t need more breakfast items. They placed the order right away and did this without asking me.


Now my Mom has mountains of all kinds of bread, scones, muffins, and sweets that she could feed her neighborhood! I would have settled for a simple refund.

Needless to say, I won’t be ordering from this company again.

It’s kind of crazy how businesses can run like this. It’s not a wonder that some are struggling and just scraping by – sheesh.

The biggest lesson of them all here is —

Always Communicate With Your Customer When They Buy Something From You! (Even if you have no update. Tell them that and also why that is.) I learned this from my years in Corporate Communications. (And of course don’t substitute an item unless you ask the customer, or at the very least say on your website that out of stock orders will be substituted.)

When a snafu happens, you have to inform the customer immediately with an offer (or offers) of HOW you will fix it.

It’s about overdelivering.

I recently had a snafu with a dream customer when they ordered my Soulful Marketing System. I gave them several unexpected bonuses because the issue they were having was an unexpected system error. That’s how you treat a dream customer – overdeliver.

More Lessons Learned From These Customer Experiences:

  1. Always Have More Than One Way For Your Customers to Communicate With You – We live in an immensely fast growing tech world. You can’t afford to be old school if you want to stay in business. At the very least have a phone number and/or email address.
  2. Invest in Customer Support (Or Customer Success) – As far as tech goes – Zen Desk is my favorite. Hire a full or part-time person to help you. This will end up being one of the most important team member because they’re on the frontlines communicating with your customers and know and understand issues you may not even be aware of.
  3. Tech & Automated Follow-up Very Important – Invest in a good email provider and sales- ordering system where you can communicate with customers. Maybe even a live chat on your site. Plus, have a customer service or admin check out your orders and be on top of them in case there are issues.
  4. Create FAQs for Your Products and Sales Pages (I can get give you mine, just ask.) These are huge – will save you lots of questions from potential dream clients – promise.
  5. Update Your Site with Out of Stock – If you’re selling physical products, make sure you have a good system that will update your sales pages to make note of out-of-stock items.
  6. Flag Orders That Have Issues – Make sure again you have someone on staff whose job it is to take care of any order issues.
  7. There’s No Such Thing as Over-Communicating – I promise this is the golden rule.

Maybe you have a similar experience with customer service and ordering something, and I’d love to hear it! Please share it with me. They’re always really good learning experiences.

And it’s hot, hot, hot here in the triple digits. I hope wherever you are—you are staying cool and content, or at the very least staying hydrated—happy hot summer filled with swimming, ice cream, hiking, road trips, and more.

Quote I’m Pondering:

“Sometimes, we wait and wait for a painful situation to end. Life has its own timeline. As soon as we get the lesson, the pain neutralizes, then disappears. And the lesson is always ours.” ~ Melody Beattie, More Language of Letting Go

A Powerful Mantra to Inspire:

I feel prosperous and I will continue to act on my inner experiences of abundance the universal mind will always offer me the right people, events, and circumstances guiding me on my spiritual path of extraordinary higher awareness. ~ Wayne Dyer

What I’m Reading (rereading):

The Book of Choice: Mapping The Life You Want by Understanding the Life You Have by Kim DeYoung

Latest Book Review:

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker

Weekly Photos: This past few weeks we were home bodies. All the traveling we’ve been doing we decided to stay home in July and part of August. So my pictures are more of what I’m seeing around the city and the neighborhood.

Of course we see Emma a lot! So she’s in a few choice shots. The morning sun is always perfect on that pup. And her peeking up over the couch is pretty cute too.

Check out our nectarines. Who knew we had such a fruit garden out back. We’ve had Myer Lemons last fall – winter. Now nectarines, and some grapes too. The nectarine below was quite interesting. It looks like we had a genetic malfunction.The small one was growing out of the big one. And I gotta say these nectarines we picked off the tree are so much more delicious than the store bought ones.

Loving that cloudy sky and mountains – Looks almost like the clouds are coming out of the mountain or going back in. Then there’s the Google Street View car literally parked in our neighborhood. The camera’s folded down. Guess it needed some rest. 🙂 I got a closer look and it’s pretty sophisticated and quite the set up.

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