More than ordinary

It’s immensely pleasing when the barber doesn’t need to ask how you want your hair done, or when the barista hands your favorite drink the second you sit at the bar, or even when things go wrong and apologies are made.

More than ordinary. We love that.

And we give back. It’s no longer just ‘a barber’, it’s ‘my barber‘. Not a random bar, ‘my favorite bar.

We return the favor. Always.

Refunds and customer care

When you buy clothes as a present, even if you know the exact size, there is a good chance it won’t fit the person you’re buying for. But you’re willing to take that risk because most stores allow you to exchange the item for a different size, and sometimes even offer a full refund.

We nailed all presents this Christmas, except one; a shirt. It was all we wanted: soft, simple, dark, and elegant. But it just wouldn’t fit well on the person we bought it for. The size was right, but it was to tight on the shoulders.

We went back to the store and asked for a refund. The experience was awful. It’s not that they didn’t accept returns, or that we had to sign ten different documents, or that we didn’t get a full refund. Every time we went shopping there they were smiling, greeting, being helpful. But not this time. Everybody has their ups and downs, but man, the look on her face when we said we needed to return something. She made us feel like we’re stealing her kids’ food of the table.

A few years ago, when I was still a student, I went shopping for groceries at the local supermarket. When I got to the counter and swiped my card, the cashier said the payment wasn’t processed and that I have to swipe again. Once I was out, I went to the first ATM and checked my credit card. I had two transactions, seconds apart, for the same amount.

Five minutes later, I was back in the store talking with the store manager, explaining the situation and showing him my credit card statement. He took my name and phone number, and assured me I will get a refund.

After 15 days I got my money back. 15 days is a hell of a long time for a student with “student money”. I never stepped foot in that supermarket.

Your goal as a service/products provider is to make every experience pleasant, not only when you get to profit. Exchanging sizes, refunding, unsubscribing or canceling your account need to be as painless as possible.

Grammarly, why no trial?

I’ve been a Grammarly user for a few months now and it’s been immensely helpful. I don’t think I made another typo since I start using it. It’s the best spellchecker on the market.

It also has a premium version which promises tasty features like advanced checks for grammar, context and sentence structure, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, genre-specific writing style checks, and even a plagiarism detector.

All great things worth paying for. But something doesn’t feel right when looking at their pricing table. There’s too much of a difference between the monthly and the annual plan.

Grammarly premium pricing plans

I get the idea of enticing people to buy the yearly plan by offering a great deal, but pricing the monthly plan so high makes it look suspicious. Like you really don’t want people to go and try it for 30 days.

A premium trial of even one day, or one document, would go a long way in helping people decide if they want to upgrade or not.

Sincere apologies work

A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I made plans to get away and spend the new year’s eve together. We searched for a location, booked a small country house, and made a list with everything we need to buy.

Almost everybody in the group drinks wine. White or Rose. Dry. Some of us prefer a specific brand, and with Black Friday being around, we found a great deal and ordered a few bottles.

A week passed and no courier called to deliver the goods, but then again, it was Black Friday season, so long delivery waits were to be expected.

The second week or so, I received an email saying it could take up to 4 additional weeks to deliver the order. They also stressed they’re really sorry for the inconvenience, assured me these delays only happen during Black Friday period, and that they will completely understand if I were to cancel the order.

Their honesty impressed me. Most stores would keep quiet and look away. I thanked them and said it’s OK as long as the order gets delivered until the 21st of December, leaving me enough time to shop around for alternatives.

I used to read about how saying sorry and saying it right can do you more good than any marketing trick, but I never got to experience it on my own skin. It fucking works. I like them better now.

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