This Christmas Alex's sister Meredith and her family stayed in London for the holidays. We sent Amaya's cousin Maddie a toy and we slipped some books in a package that Alex's mom was mailing to them. For Mer & Brian we found (hopefully) a cool cheese store in London and sent them some holiday indulgence. As luck would have it on the very day their cheese was delivered we received a gift from them from Murray's Cheese in NYC. When we lived in the city Murray's was a favorite and we were happy to unpack the box and discover several pristine cheeses and a box of crackers. It arrived a few days early to be safe. As my mother had just decided to stay in the city with a sick friend for the holidays I was struck by inspiration. I would send her some cheese too.
What followed followed was a comedy of errors, which I won't bother to relate. Suffice to say that my mother did not get her cheese. The messenger service explained in great detail on Christmas Eve why it wasn't their fault and there no one was answering the customer service line for the store. A few days later we still had no answers and so Alex reached out to Murray's via Twitter. The response was instantaneous and they took care of the problem in a way that went above and beyond the call of duty.
Two lessons came from this. Twitter is apparently more effective than phone calls or email. And customer service really does matter. My mother waited at home all day for a delivery that never came and yet they were able to turn that around with a heart felt apology and a relatively quick response. It took a few days and a few attempts but I was a loyal customer already and so I was predisposed to forgiveness when I felt like someone actually cared about what happened. Last year a favorite local business messed up a special occasion and they couldn't be bothered to apologize or even act as if they cared. Needless to say we never went back. On the other hand we will still visit Murray's when we're in the city and send gifts to our loved ones from their store. We can't control everything but we can control how we respond to a difficult situation and that makes the difference.