Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Customer Service and Why it Makes All the Difference

The Amazing Elemental ARC Giveaway is still going on! You have until 0600 on April 8th to get me your mailing addresses. If you'd like a chance to win a signed ARC, be sure to check it out!

Also, several people have informed me I've opened myself up to a whole different level of crazy photos than I'd anticipated. I still believe that you, my readers, wouldn't actually send me pictures of your bums or other body parts. But just in case, I do ask that it stays PG. I'll be posting some of the pictures on this blog and young 'uns could be popping in for a visit. Oh, who am I kidding? My sensitive eyes couldn't take it! So please, be as crazy as you want, but keep the privates private.

Thank you!!

Now, onto what this post is actually about!

As some of you may know, I've become obsessed with Pinterest (in fact, please friend me if you haven't already!). Well, one of the great features of this website is the ability to create boards for specific purposes. One of my favorites is my For the Home board. I have discovered so many different crafty ideas! Well, last week I decided to start on a couple of them.

So I went to a big, national chain that has taken over pretty much every town in America to search for pink rose petals (also, if you know me, you know I like pink and don't settle for any other color). I went to their craft department, specifically the wedding section, and found several boxes of red rose petals. Well, how silly! Certainly this big, national chain couldn't possibly presume to decide which colors would be available for anyone's wedding! They must have more choices!

I walked up to the lone customer service attendant in that department and asked if they had any pink rose petals. She looked at me and pointed over her shoulder to the place I'd just been and said, "They'd all be over there."

"Yes," I said. "But all I saw were red rose petals."

"Well, then that's all we've got."

Hmmm. So this big, national chain DOES presume to decide on wedding colors, rather than giving multiple choices. Even if they'd just given TWO, I wouldn't have been as disgusted.

The next day I went to the local craft store. Once again, I went to the wedding section and searched for pink rose petals. They had red, white, green, but not pink. I then went up to one of the cashiers (they were the only ones working at the store) and asked her if they had any pink rose petals, just as I had done at the other store.

The woman smiled brightly and walked me over to the wedding section. Once there, she was very disappointed to find they did NOT have pink petals. She then went to the back of the store to see if they had any there. When she came back, she looked very sorry, said they didn't, but then proceeded to offer me a box of pink rose petals she thought she had at home.

I was flabbergasted. This woman just offered me her OWN rose petals because the store she worked at didn't carry what I needed. And no, she wasn't implying I had to pay for them, either.

She took down my home phone number to let me know whether or not she still had them and we arranged that I'd show up two days from then if I didn't hear from her.

Yeah, I'll be shopping there exclusively from now on.

And you know what? This attitude applies to writers, too. It's way too easy to get too "big for your breeches." Sure you take over a few bestseller lists or show up on a dozen different blogs and you think you don't need to be nice to people anymore. (I'm not speaking of anyone in particular, just in general and as an example.)

I have off days where I'm just SO behind on emails that I think about deleting ones from very nice bloggers or book reviewers who are just trying to connect with me, rather than replying to them just so I can catch up. But then I remember that connecting with people is the best part of this business. Yes, writing books is wonderful and fulfilling (I still can't believe I do it for a living), but getting to know people, maybe becoming friends with them, is what getting published is really about.

I now know that woman's name (the one from the small, local store) and when I go there again, I'll greet her, maybe even have a laugh.

I hope I affect someone else some day the way she has affected me.


  1. This post made me smile. I was actually planning on coming over here to thank you for sending the bookmarks (I received them yesterday) and I also noticed when I was going through envelopes that SHP sent me a tattoo with my ARC so I was excited about that. It's nice to know some authors still have a good head on their shoulders!! :)

  2. How awesome is that?
    Also, i got my temp tattoos in the mail. Soon you will see my awesome pics!

  3. This is sooo true, thanks for the reminder! whenever a "big name" author is kind and personable to me or responds to my email or so forth, it totally makes my day AND makes me far more likely to read things by them in the future.

    Also, I see you have a Frost banner up!! :) :)

  4. Great story. How neat! The personal touch is soooo important. I'm glad you got your pink!!

  5. That is so cool! How awesome that she was so nice to you! Did you by chance let the owner know? Someone that dedicated needs to be recognized by her boss!

    YAY for the pink petals. Cant wait to see what you make. I have all kinds of crafts planned but the stuff just sits. I never have time for them :(

    CANT wait to get Elemental!!! WHOOT WHOOOT!!!!

  6. heeheehee.. i don't know what's making me laugh more, your persistence or the fact they had GREEN rose petals??? green??? interesting.
    anyway, YES!
    treat people nice.
    *fist pump*

  7. Oh...good thing I haven't sent those pics yet. Re-shoot.

    I am, of course, kidding.


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