Surprises with one solution

This week one retailer surprised me, but unfortunately, I was also disappointed by another. Can these retailers learn something from each other; who knows?

My order: Sport shoes
"These sport shoes are no longer available in our shop. Tomorrow, I can get them from our national warehouse and delivered to you at your home address. Are you sure that they will be there then? Absolutely." You've guessed it.... the following day I get an email that the order has been delayed.

My order: The dress
Of course I have enough dresses hanging in my wardrobe. Yet the day before the party the thought of a new dress titillated. Quickly surfed on the internet and yes, Bingo! The next day the doorbell rang. Hurrah, there's my new dress already.

Disappointment turned into a big smile
Slightly irritated I called Bever (Dutch outdoor retailer) to say that the sport shoes had not turned up. The person at the end of the line sensed my feeling. She asked if she could call me back within five minutes. Within two minutes my telephone rang. At first the employee from Bever, again offered her apologies. Then she surprised me by saying that it was solved. An employee from Bever Amersfoort has driven to the central warehouse to fetch the shoes. She asked if I was at home, or was it too late? If so she would bring my shoes to the place where my walk would begin with pleasure.

Happiness changes to disappointment
Excitedly, I took the dress out of its box. It fitted perfectly. I quickly put my high-heels on. Ready to leave. As I walk out the door I look in the mirror and see an alarm label still attached to the back. I've had enough. I quickly change my dress and drive to Den Bosch

Bijenkorf can learn from the open questions posed by Bever
Sometimes things can go wrong. It's about how you solve it. If you want to solve a problem it's crucial that you put yourself in the place of the customer. Find out what the order is for. Lisa (from Bever) asked me two open questions. Lisa knows that I need the walking shoes for the evening's "Four evenings hike”. On the first evening walk it became clear that my sneakers did not walk nicely and that is why proper sport shoes were needed.

The Bijenkorf employee said she found it dreadful. I would get a gift voucher worth ten euros for my trouble. This didn't solve my problem. What if she had put herself in my place instead of putting the situation to one side. Had she done so, she would have realised that I was on my way to Den Bosch. That the party was only five minutes' walk from the Bijenkorf (which at the moment of my arrival was still open). How cool would it have been if she had told me that there were three different dresses in my size hanging ready so that I could choose which one I would like for the party? I bet then, with a big smile on my face, I would have only spoken about Bijenkorf the whole evening.