Trust in your customers
There’s a lot of talk about trust in business. I read a lot about the importance of good customer service, quality products, toll free numbers, and contact information on your site, etc. But something I haven’t seen discussed much is trust in your customers. This year I have seen more dishonesty in some of my customers than in years past. But how do you prove that they are not being 100% honest with you.
We drop ship most of our inventory but there are items that I ship personally for customers. I am the person that packs and ships their order so I know how it was packed and what was inside. My customer recently stated that half of her order was missing. I couldn’t believe it because I personally packed that box and I know I packed 24 little candy tubes in the box. If I had packed only 12 I would have used a smaller box. I remember counting not once, not twice but three times before I sealed up the box. But she claims only 12 arrived and as the saying goes, “the customer is always right”. As I packed up another 12 items and paid to ship them to my customer I couldn’t help but be a little angry. Maybe she realized she needed more favors, maybe she just wanted extras. Either way she got what she wanted and I lost a lot of money.
With my drop shipped orders it’s hard for me to know if the error was ours or if the customer might be telling a white lie. But recently I caught a customer in her lie. The drop shipper made an error and instead of shipping 25 of product A and 25 of product B they shipped 50 of product A. I had a copy of the invoice from the supplier that showed what was shipped. I was more than happy to fix this and get Item B shipped out right away but when I asked about having them return the extras of product A to us, they claimed they never received those extra 25 items. I don’t feel right about accusing them of lying but really, is it that hard to be honest. They weren’t going to have to pay to return them. Is it because people really do enjoy getting things for free? I do too, who doesn’t, but not like this. To me this is stealing.
These are a couple of examples of what I have been seeing this year. I think it’s sad; these little lies add up and cost my business a lot of money, which in turn causes me to raise my prices in order to keep up.
When items are damaged I do ask for photos and they are very helpful. But how to you get proof that items are missing? I can go by the weight of the box, that sometimes helps but how to you confront your customer about this? The customer is always right but it doesn’t mean what they are doing is always right. I know some of you will tell me to confront the customer, besides if I lose them as a customer maybe I am better off, I shouldn’t want to keep a customer that is stealing from me right? But I just can’t seem to do it.