A happy customer service success story from Marketing Sidekick, Kate Walz

Last week, Helzberg Diamonds, famous for their jewelry and the romance that goes with it, offered a pretty amazing deal. (Full disclosure, Helzberg is not an emfluence client.) Kicking off a week of promotions, the company offered their Murano glass jewelry at a deep discount, as low as $20 a pop, and advertised “surprise savings” when you got to your cart. What a deal to find your entire purchase was free when you checked out—just pay $10 in shipping and handling. The deal seemed too good to be true, so we checked with the company to make sure the deal was accurate. Alas it was not; their online system had a glitch. Even they were surprised by the savings!

These are the moments that define a company’s reputation. There are a lot of lessons to be taken from how Helzberg handled the potential catastrophe.

1.Keep a close eye on what your customers are saying to and about you. Online mentions of the too-good-to-be-true deal as well as a customer directly asking about its validity gave Helzberg a heads up before 10 am, possibly curtailing significantly more sales snafus.

2.Own it and communicate. Helzberg talked back. They admitted the system error (even making apologetic jokes) and let customers know that steps were being made to fix the problem.

3.Wow them with your service. A friend of mine is a deeply loyal Helzberg customer. When she learned about the issue she said, “Their customer service is amazing. Just sit back and let them handle it. You won’t be disappointed.” And I wasn’t. To my great surprise, Helzberg honored the orders made at the free price, including the ones that had been cancelled.

4.Don’t mistake social interaction for a personal touch. Helzberg went the extra mile and personally called me to tell me my cancelled order would be processed as a gift in response to their mistake. I don’t know if they called everyone, or just those of us who cancelled our order (my Helzberg-loving friend got the same call for her cancelled order). I didn’t wonder about the status, or how they were handling the situation. They were straight forward on a truly personal level.

The moral of the story? Most company errors should be viewed as opportunities to build your reputation with your customers. Lost revenue can be earned back by ensuring your consumer base keeps coming back to you. Next time my mom needs something sparkly I know just where I’m taking my business—Helzberg. I kind of owe them for the free jewelry.


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