What Your Business Is Teaching Me about Mine

Another good learning moment I recently received from someone else's business:

I wanted the new Kate Moss book...all 8 covers.  I tried Amazon (cheap, but can't find a phone number anywhere to explain that I want 8 different covers)  Won't work.

I checked with local Barnes & Noble stores.  A nice manager at a local Barnes& Noble store was able to locate about 3 copies of the book, but wasn't sure which ones she had, and promised to call me when they had more. That was weeks ago, and I haven't heard anything since.

Finally I connected with Barnes and Noble by phone, ordered the book, explaining I wanted one of each cover, and I received 8 books, but not 8 different covers.  I then had to carry them all back to the store for a return.  They were so heavy, and it took so long to get to this (more than a couple of weeks), that they would only offer me a store credit.  Annoying, but fine, since I buy a lot of books and will use the credit as long as I don't lose it first.

In the meantime, I had called Rizzoli, the New York store and also the original publisher of the book.  They had a full set of signed copies;  in fact they had two full signed sets left.  I bought both.  They sent one set to my NY address by messenger, and shipped the other to Atlanta, exactly as I requested. Perfectly wrapped.  Right away.

Did I pay more for all of this service?  You better believe it. Or rather, I paid the retail price of hte books....not the Amazon or Barnes & Noble discounted price.  But I got what I wanted, I  had a great customer service experience with an intelligent person who could actually help me on the phone, and I got what I couldn't find anywhere else.

This was an 'a ha' moment for me.   I realized the kind of service provider I aspire to be.  I don't want to be the discount solution.  I want to charge you a fair price and deliver a beautiful product just as you expect.  No mistakes.  No crushed corners.  No cheap packaging.  And I still love Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  When I want the cheaper solution, I will go to them again.  When I want the luxurious solution, Rizzoli gets it right.  Thank you for that lesson.  I still have some work to do.  Great product requires great service and delivery.  Anything less diminishes the product.