Customer Service – A Pleasant Experience?

Seems like an oxymoron right?  We so often deal with such bad customer service and companies that really don’t care about us as a customer once we sign up.  You become a number, and it becomes a number game for them. Many companies just want to keep adding and adding customers to show how much they are growing, that they forget about the most important thing: retaining their tribe.

I’ve dealt with some really bad customer experiences to the point where I was hung up on multiple times and basically told to eff off.  I have also dealt with some good customer experiences, where they helped me get what I wanted in the end but it took foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  But today, today was different.  I had a great customer experience.

About a month ago, I decided I was going to give into buying new glasses because my prescription did not match my contacts which led me to wearing my contacts way too much.  I started to search online not wanting to have to go to a brick and mortar store.  I came across EyeByeDirect where I found reasonably priced frames and lenses and by the time I was done picking one, I think I was spending around $40.  Which is great for a new pair of glasses.  So I ordered them, they came a couple weeks later and voila! I had a brand new pair of glasses that were perfect and I no longer had to squint like crazy when not wearing my contacts.

Then unfortunately, not even a month in, a piece of my glasses broke.  The Macgyver in me thought I would just fix it myself.  Then I decided I would just deal with it, I pretty much only wore my glasses at home anyway.  This new pair was the first one I started wearing out and about because I really loved them.  Then I thought, you know what, let me just email them and see if I can exchange them for a new pair.  Typically I avoid things like this because it always seems there is some ridiculous loophole, or I just missed the cut off date for returns and I get more frustrated than I was before.

So I emailed them.  I got an email within an hour back letting me know that they were so sorry that my glasses didn’t work out, that they would be happy to exchange them, only problem was that the frames I picked were no longer in stock, so I would have to pick new ones.  Annoying, but whatever, I found a new frame I like much better and they were letting me exchange them!

Then I called them up because they said it would be faster and a lady on the other end answered.  After explaining my story, she then said something that I literally don’t think I have ever heard before: “Oh yes, is this Lindsay Felderman?  I believe I am the one who emailed you this morning.” Um what?  Come again nice EyeBuyDirect lady? You mean I have direct contact with the person that was emailing me before named Kate after calling the 1-800 number?  I haven’t gotten one of the million people in your customer service department who make me explain myself all over again, give a million pieces of information of my identity and then transfer me to someone else only to do it all over again?! I was in shock.  Not only were they letting me exchange my frames, that have been discontinued, but this lady made a connection with me. Damn, if only every customer experience could be so good!  I didn’t even say the best part, they told me to keep my glasses until I got my new pair, then I can send them in.  And what do they do with the glasses that are returned/exchanged?  They donate them to charity.  Amazing.

All and all EyeBuyDirect has now gained a customer for life in me.  I have joined their tribe, I won’t buy eye glasses from anyone else.  I had already told some of my friends about them, but now I will definitely make sure to let others know where they should buy some awesome eye glasses.  We all could learn from great customer experiences.  When you have a great experience, you don’t forget.  You feel like a human instead of a number, you feel unique and special, and the company treating you like that no longer feels like an institution that you inevitability end up hating.  Living in a digital world it is so refreshing to feel like you are connecting with another human, someone who is listening and understanding.  It is sad how we so often don’t connect with real human beings.  Today’s experience for me was a reminder that there is still hope for our humanity.

Last but not least, just a fun tidbit.  In my glasses breaking, I believe the universe was telling me something.  My girlfriend didn’t really like this first pair of glasses, she in fact said I reminded her of someone, Dr. Oliver Thredson.  If you have never seen American Horror Story: Asylum (my favorite season of the show) then you wouldn’t know him.  But if you have, you will know exactly why that is creepy.   I can kind of see what she is saying, but will leave you with a side by side comparison so you can be the judge.

LF as Thredson2oliver thredson

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