How to deal with a broken promise?

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Today, I had one of the worst customer experiences I have ever had. I had ordered an item that takes longer to prepare and ship, and the seller promised to deliver my purchase 10 days after receiving my order. I wanted to check in a few days before the deadline to ask if things are moving along according to plan. After hearing that my shipment would take longer to deliver than the date the seller initially stated, I simply couldn’t hide my disappointment. “The one thing I dislike most is when sellers don’t make the promised delivery date,” I remarked. I was expecting the seller to offer a genuine apology for any troubles the delay may cause me, as well as an explanation as to why my order was delayed in the first place; I was expecting the seller’s understanding for my disappointment and a promise that the company will do better next time. What I was not expecting is what happened next as the person on the other end of the line mocked, “The one thing I dislike most is when customers expect their order to be delivered on a certain date.”

It took me a few moments to get over the shock of what I had just heard. “There would be no next time,” I told myself. I would never trust this seller or ever give them my valuable business again, considering that being able to trust a company to keep their promises is much more important than many other things, like price or product quality.

Thinking back, I have to wonder why keeping a promise isn’t more important or serious to businesses. It isn’t life-threatening or dangerous to your health, of course, but it did end a business relationship in this case. Judging by how they treated me, I can’t say whether or not the business will survive very long. When a seller tells me a delivery date, I expect to receive it on that exact day. Believe me, I am not the one to expect everything to go perfect and understand that things can go wrong from time to time due to a thousand different reasons, but I do have the right to have certain expectations. And when you absolutely have to break the promise you made, you should at least show customers that you’re willing and able to change and do your best to solve the problem, right? Personally, I can’t stand when deadlines are missed and therefore always do my best to keep my promise, but that’s beside the point. The point is that any seller, even if it is someone who doesn’t take deadlines as seriously as I do, needs to remain calm and try to find the best solution in a case like this. However, instead of owning up to what happened, the blame is shifted to anyone and everyone else, and in the worst case, even to their own customers.

I wasn’t expecting anything other than a helpful response.

It’s always difficult to provide consistently good service quality, and even more exhausting to maintain it. Problems will happen – just like negative feedback does. However, it’s always important to remember to “look for a suitable solution and offer a compromise where possible.”


Author: Trang Le 

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How to deal with a broken promise?

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