I do write about quite a few wins that we have had at Chennaigaga especially when it comes to being a pioneer in souvenirs in Chennai or being the first to celebrate Carnatic music, brand the Chennaiite, etc.
We regularly share our happy stories where our customers have gone beyond any request we could think to make to them, and shared their personal experiences at Chennaigaga and also given us their testimonials. We have also been pre occupied to give our customers the best experience possible in keeping with our core values.
However, there have been a few (only a few, thankfully) instances in the past 11 years, where a few customers have been upset with us. We were unable to give them the experience we usually strive to.
One such incident happened a couple of years ago. A customer wanted to exchange some T-shirts he had purchased a few months prior to that. He had been travelling and said he did not even open the t-shirts’ packaging but was unhappy with the sizes and wanted to check whether we would exchange them.
Here’s what we did:
We told him we just could not consider exchanging goods sold several weeks before.
He was disappointed and upset with us and left on that same note.
And… here’s what we SHOULD have done:
We should have told him WHY it would be very difficult to consider an exchange because of the long period that had lapsed between his purchase and attempt to return/exchange. Our inventory tracker and back-end systems did not have such a provision to accommodate a late exchange, which is also in keeping with regular retail practices. And being a small business, it would be a loss to us. We could have asked him if he had any other suggestions and what he had in mind regarding the exchange when he walked into the store. Perhaps if we had gone ahead and had a detailed chat with him, we could have arrived at a solution that was satisfactory.
It is a regret I continue to have, that we did not explore further options to endeavour to give that customer a better experience. Moreover, our presence of mind abandoned us at that point and we missed asking for his name and contact details too.
If I could connect with him even now, I would, even though a couple of years have lapsed.
Do let us know if you have any thoughts / suggestions on how else we could have improved the experience of this customer.Thanks for reading.
Note: we were constrained to close the physical retail store in 2020 December post Covid, and are now a fully online store at chennaigaga.com