questionshas anyone noticed the addition to the initial…

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It's good that they're finally on this but it should have gone out on day one. People are crazy when it gets to this time of the year, throw in a woot-off and you've got a real recipe for disaster. A little explaining can go a long way. Assuming people read the whole email, that is.

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@zuiquan: I was wondering how long it has been there and were the others posting here about their issues as well as submitting multiple emails for the same issue getting this notification a week ago and just not reading it...or is it new in the last day or two (or even today)? Hopefully some of those who were posting about the poor customer service response times can chime in and let us know if any of their emails had this statement and when they see the statement for the first time. Oh yeah I agree that this should have been on the auto response as soon as they saw the backlog starting

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@natedogg828: I believe it was added towards the end of last week, but then again, I'm horrible with dates.

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@zuiquan: At my work, a couple days after Cyber Monday, the guy who oversees our order fulfillment and shipping realized we were going to take more than our stated 2-day turnaround to ship out orders. It was looking more like 3 - 4 days before we could get the package in the mail. Customers were not going to be happy. We wanted to send out a mass email to our customers letting them know we were overwhelmed this holiday season, have hired more temps, will be working 7 days a week, and that we are profusely sorry for the delay. Basically, we wanted to nip the complaints in the bud.

Boss hated the idea, was worried people would cancel their orders, and now our customer service department is overwhelmed and we are getting nasty comments on Facebook. One customer, after we explained the situation, calmed down and said "I understand but an email letting me know would have been appreciated."

My boss makes the BEST decisions! :-\

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@thewronggrape: Somebody should fire that guy. You guys should pitch in for an HR rep (assuming he still hasn't hired one) and have them give him the bad news.

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Customer Service 101: If you notice a problem that's going to affect your customers you get out in front of it as soon as you recognize there's an issue. It's much easier to lower a customer's expectations than it is to apologize to them after they're already angry. If you do the former and follow through you'll likely keep them as your customer. If you wait and do nothing until people are angry, a pretty large portion of that audience is gone for good. It's not that hard, you just have to do a little extra work, and it saves huge headaches for everyone involved. There's a reason they teach this crap in business school, it's actually important if you want to stay in business. /rant

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@zuiquan: I made a big order from Kohls on Cyber Monday. I got an email from them after a while saying that high traffic and bad weather was slowing down deliveries and they were sorry. Items started trickling in, but only about half the order has gotten here so far. I got another email on the weekend from them apologizing again for the delay and including a $25 gift certificate for my troubles. That certainly keeps them in my good graces.

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@moondrake: That's the way to do it. Most people don't mind a little bit of a wait, they just want to know there's going to be one. Throwing in a little something extra to sweeten the deal is just smart business, that 25 bucks they're losing could turn into hundreds or thousands over time if they lose a good customer.

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@thewronggrape: It's been my experience that people will generally handle delays with grace and patience as long as they know what's going on and can adjust their expectations accordingly. Your boss is a dolt.

(Just to prove that doltishness is widespread: at my former job the computer system went down completely around 1pm a few years ago. Manangement told us to tell members -- who are actually the eff'ing owners of the company -- that the system was down for planned maintenance. Now, which would you rather hear? (1) that a very large financial institution intentionally went down in mid-day for several hours, or (2) "I'm so sorry for the inconvenience; our system is down and our IT folks are working frantically to get it back up.")

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A trick from long ago waiting tables day : Always tell the customer that it will be longer than you think it will be for a table.
That way they don't get too grumpy if things don't go as expected, and are very happy when they get a table sooner.

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@magic cave: Common sense is hard to come by. A similar thing happened here but we were on the receiving end. Our timeclock terminal, which is tied into our payroll system, went down in the middle of the day when people are trying to clock in and out for lunch. It was obvious to me that there was something wrong, but when we called, we were told it was a scheduled maintenance. Companies are so reluctant to be honest and forget that customers tend to be humans with jobs themselves who understand that sometimes stuff happens.

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@thewronggrape: Yup. Say "our system is down" and 95% of the time the other person gets all patient and empathetic ("Oh, don't you hate that?! Ours went down last week!")

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@thewronggrape: "Common Sense" is probably the worst phrase ever coined.