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44 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 A couple of months ago, I ordered a T-shirt with a silly phrase for my son Peter's birth- day. Since my son lives 2,000 miles away, we often order gifts and ship them to each other. In this particular case, however, I noticed that after filling out Peter's home address for ship- ping, there wasn't anywhere to add a billing address. To make sure that there wasn't any confusion between the shipping and billing ad- dresses, I sent them a quick email to clarify the situation. I told them who I was, what I was doing, and the order number. Within a couple of hours, I received a re- sponse that said, "Hello, Peter." It went on to thank me for my order without answering my billing address question. Their confusion over my name gave me some real concern now that the order was mixed up, so I wrote back again and told them very clearly, "This is Tim, not Peter. I'm the one who ordered this gift, and I'm trying to send it to Peter." Once again, they Customer Support Is People Support responded with, "Hello, Peter. We apologize for the trouble you had placing your order." At this point, I gave up and let Peter know that there may or may not be a gift delivered to him. For - tunately, it all worked out. In a few days, Peter received the gift, my credit card was charged the correct amount, and all was well. I found the whole thing to be kind of funny, and my wife got a kick out of referring to me as "Peter" for a while. As amusing as it was, though, it did make me realize once again how important good customer service is for pro- ductivity in business. In the case of the con- fused-name T-shirt order mystery, my email was probably routed through a system that in- cluded templates for generic responses. Who- ever handled it probably didn't even read my message where I said that I wasn't Peter, and instead, replied with a standard automated re- sponse. For all I know, my emails may not even have been handled by the same company that Tim's Takeaways by Tim Haag, CONSULTANT

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