Thursday, March 20, 2008

Of Excellence In Customer Service

Because I am, as you know, a confessed shopaholic, I have the opportunity to meet and interact with designers from all over the grid everyday...just as I am sure many of you do. I have my favorites, of course, but by and large the majority of content creators that I meet go out of their way to be exceedingly kind and helpful. The past couple of days have provided three illustrations of how customer service in Second Life should be and I wanted to share my experiences with you.

This past weekend, I became a Storm Schmooz fan...and until this week, I had never even slipped my size zero tootsies into a pair of his shoes. You see, while wandering the grid with Guy, he mentioned how he would like to find a new pair of shoes. I remembered seeing some great men's dress shoes at Storm's shop and tp'd us there. After hemming and hawing a bit, I finally sauntered over to the gift vendor and purchased a pair of Men's Black High Gloss...which Guy, not knowing what I was up to, promptly declined. (Who declines shoes?!? Must be a man thing.) The following day, I sent a notecard to Storm, explained to him my dilemna...which, mind you, he had no obligation to fix, the product had been delivered properly, the recipient just didn't accept it. Within moments, my Guy was wearing a brand new pair of Men's Black High Gloss shoes. Storm could not have been more gracious, more understanding or more quick to fix my problem. So, right then and there, I vowed to snatch up some Storm Schmooz shoes of my own...and I've got the pictures to prove it.

One of these days I will learn to read the Official SL Blog before setting off to do some major damage to my Linden bank account. Alas, it seems I'm always a few steps behind. I made a quick stop at the Relay For Life Summer sim (more on RFL in an upcoming post) to pick up a couple of items that I knew I wanted right away. One of them was the Q-T Pie dress by Kiana Dulce. I donated the required amount, but the dress was not delivered. Eh, probably just the lag, so I wandered around a bit more, picked up another outfit and it was delivered, so I thought, "oh goodie, I'll run back and get that dress at Kiana's booth." I donate the required amount (yes, I made a second donation, RFL is near and dear to me...I'll make lots of donations during the event...whether there is an item attached or not), but again, the item is not delivered. I sent a notecard to Kiana, who accepted it as soon as she logged in and sent over the item right away...turns out there was a problem with the donation kiosk. She was kind and gracious and professional...I can't wait to visit her booth, and her store, again.

Lastly, you all know I am a crazy about Iota Ultsch of Tres Jolie (see my previous post here). Her latest release, Chasm, really caught my eye, so I ran over to pick it up. Sigh, it also wasn't delivered. I dropped a quick notecard to Iota, who tp'd me back to her store as soon as she logged on and a few moments later, I am wearing Chasm in Steel (and it is a fabulous!) In case I failed to mention, Iota is a ton of fun to chat with and is always filled with great information. Oh, and by the way...the smashing number at right is her latest release, Tigress. Absolutely stunning in person with a fabulous little brooche that settles right into the plunging neckline. Had to throw that one in just for fun.

So, what is the proper way to communicate a non-delivered item or problem with a transaction to a designer? (Hint: This is not it!) First, read their profile. Many designers will list their policies there or on their Picks tab. Find out how they want to be contacted and follow their instructions. Second, if there are not instructions or policies listed, put all of the pertinent information in a notecard. Content creators get alot of IMs and if they are offline, those IMs get capped. A notecard is the best way to communicate with them in a professional manner. What is the pertinent information? I have found that this format works best for me: Title the notecard with the Issue and Your Name, ie. Item Not Delivered - Gabby Panacek. List in the notecard your proof of purchase from your transaction history. This is important! It shows the designer that you did indeed pay for the item and that the $L were deducted from your account. Finally, be goes along way on the grid, and you will find that more people are willing to assist you if you approach them openly, honestly and politely.

Okay, that's all for now...happy shopping. Look for more this week about Relay for Life, Long Awkward Pose, and much more!

What I'm Wearing:
Photo 1:
Blaze Boyfriend Buttondown
ETD Charley in Blonde
Storm Schmooz Bots Red
Shoes from Left to Right, all by Storm Schmooz: Kammykaze, Mimmi in Red, Suomi Suede in Naturel and Vampirelle
Blowpop Mellie 3 in Caramel - Sinner

Photo 2:
Q-T Pie by Kiana Dulce
ETD Elizabeth II in Platinum
Maitreya Slinky Slingbacks in White
Blowpop Mellie 3 in Caramel - Sinner

Photo 3:
Tres Jolie Chasm in Steel
Sheer Tights in Zebra
Stiletto Moody Bitch Bootie
ETD Luth in Smoke
Blowpop Mellie 3 in Caramel - Seether

Photo 4:
Tres Jolie Tigress
Storm Schmooz Kammykaze Slingbacks
Analog Dog Pom in Brown
Blowpop Mellie 3 in Caramel - Seether