MORE True stories from Jeffrey’s e-mail files.

MORE True stories from Jeffrey’s e-mail files.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Dear Jeffrey, Just read your recent article re: Dillard’s poor customer service I think I have a better example

MORE True stories from Jeffreys email files.

Yes, they pour in from all over the world horror and heroic stories about great and pitiful service. Since the last column several weeks ago, hundreds have poured in. Unedited except for grammar and spelling, here are a few eye openers that will get your scissors snipping to send these lulus on to associates and friends.

Dear Jeffrey, Just read your recent article re: Dillard’s poor customer service I think I have a better example. I was having a lot of trouble with US West regarding my phone service so I called the CEO in Denver, Solomon D. Trujillo Chairman, President and CEO, of U S WEST, Inc. When I asked to speak to him I was told by one of his assistants that he was out of town, but he does not speak to customers. I then asked for someone else who was in charge and was told that that person doesn’t speak to customers either. Dan

JG comment: They dont have time to speak to customers. Theyre too busy over at the golden parachute store making sure the safety cord works. They may not speak to customers, but they better start listening.

Jeffrey: Here’s one to add to your “Hall of Fame (Shame) and something to be cautious of, particularly with the explosion of internet buying.

I received a book as a gift from a friend from Already had book, returned it, it took 3 phone calls and a month to get a refund. With all the cyber stuff, it is a cumbersome process to get a check refund (certainly they can credit a credit card to the buyer). Well, after getting the refund (less S/H by the way), no incentive for me to get another title from Amazon. It’s just as easy to go to the nearest book store.

Now here’s the main thing. Look at Amazon’s guarantee… its not to have

satisfied customers… its about how secure your transaction is going to be. Is this a short term approach rather than long term viability. Amazon is now into CD’s, electronics, auctions, yet has not made a profit. At some point the rubber has to meet the road or do we REALLY live in a different world.

JG comment: The internet has to be as easy to get service from as it is to buy from, or they will have problems keeping customers loyal. But internet stories have two sides see below:

Jeffrey, First, I love your column and read it in City Business in Minneapolis,MN. Here’s an incredible one…I ordered three items from AMAZON.COM; two which were on 24 hourmavailability, one which was listed as 23 days. I selected to have them ship items as two packages to get the available ones first. The day following my order, I got an email to the effect “We were actually able to get all three items in 24 hours, but shipped them as two shipments due to our ordering system. You would have saved $2.50 if we had shipped them together, so we are crediting your credit card for $2.50. Our apologies for not catching this when we packed out your order.” I was blown away by their even caring, so I sent them a complimentary email thanking them for their attention. Within twothree hours I got a personal “You’re very welcome, we’re happy to help you. Let us know what we can do better” email back.

I’ve never seen a face nor know a name of an AMAZON.COM employee, but I like them better than many sales people I see every day. I now buy almost all my books and CDs from AMAZON.COM.

Keep up the great columns. They give me something to aspire to. Ross Minneapolis, MN

JG comment: continues to be the business story of the 1990s. It took Barnes & Noble three years to get their act together, and theyre still playing catchup. Give them a chance theyre only an infant, and theyre crawling where no man has crawled before.

Dear Jeffrey, My family and I just returned from vacation in Cape May, NJ. A friend of ours had given us a gift certificate to one of our favorite restaurants, Mangia, Mangia. We called ahead and were told they would not take reservations that evening, but we would probably be seated in 15 minutes or less. We arrived and signed on to the waiting list. A 15 minute wait was predicted. After 30 minutes and several seatings of groups arriving after us, my wife inquired why we had not been seated. She was told that someone had falsely claimed our table, but we could have the next table available (in about 15 minutes).They knew who had stolen our table (Sam cannot be mistaken for Rita) but made no effort to rectify the situation. We finally became too angry and impatient to eat and ended up going for subs across the street. Needless to say, MM is no longer a favorite of ours. Everything tastes like sour grapes! POB

JG comment: Its not the error that matters, its the recovery that counts. A free drink or dessert would have cost pennies and turned sour grapes into fine wine.

Got a good one? Got a bad one? Send it to I will read every one of them, and thank you personally. Who knows, you may get to reward one of the outstanding few heroes of service or the satisfaction that millions are reading your story in print.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written

permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112