Before you get excited, entrepreneurship is not always fun. I am going through a small experience that almost made me reach a very low point full of frustration. But still didn’t manage to get me to thow the towel.
Here is a short story of where I spent hours over the phone and several days trying to follow up with things that might not be completely under my control.
I had a customer order that wasn’t shipped by the fulfillment company. The customer started sending blasts of emails and public social media messages about how our company is not doing good job.
Since I learned transparency is the best thing to do. We made her know about each step we were doing to ensure that she can get her order. But that kind of backfired. The fulfillment company had an issue in their system where they did not log her order in their tracking system. Which meant there is no proof that they do have the item. That made that customer start questioning our credibility. And again she shared her thoughts over email and social media.
Should I blame her? Not at all. It’s not because ‘the customer is always right’. But because she told me her story, she had a design project for her school that she needs to present in few days. With the approaching deadline, she have the right to be concerned about it.
I took the lead on following up with our warehouse, contracted shipping company, and our unsatisfied customer. All of them are in 11 hours time zone difference from me. That meant what I just added up of almost 4 hours of phone calls with not so efficient front-line customer service. I now can recite the script they read by heart, Which was very annoying. My biological clock was disturbed with no doubt.
The story is still going (until writing these words). I finally talked to one of the coordinators at the fulfillment company trying to figure out what happened and what can be done in a timely manner.
When I followed up with the fulfillment company about what happened and told them about the frustration my customer is having, I concluded to the agent with this:
“When I was a student I had to wait for weeks or even months to get an item from the U.S. to prototype or design something for my design projects. It was hard and unpractical. This is why I made Crispy Science, to help youth and kids get access to what makes them more curious learners. I don’t want them to struggle.
[Your company] brand is neither more or less important for me than my own. Both are equally important to maintain. And [your company] have put both on jeopardy. But I don’t care about my reputation for even a fraction compared to my care to get this girl what she needs to build her design project. This is the whole reason why I’m in business”.
That’s why entrepreneurship is not always fun, But it could be damn fulfilling.