Which Customer Isn’t Always Right? This Guy!

rrsSeriously, does this guy talk about anything else other than running?  The answer to that question is apparently “Not really.”  I recently purchased two essential items online at Road Runner Sports; Body Glide and GU Energy Gels.  I was unhappy with the shipping speed on the gels so I voiced my opinion both on their online chat and via their customer feedback survey. In my mind I had a legitimate reason to be angry.  That is until I went back and reviewed their website again.

Upon reviewing the description on the energy gels it clearly said I was preordering the item and would not receive them until November.  Oops!  With my tail between my legs I now feel it’s only fair to share with you everything Road Runner Sports did right in spite of my error.

  • Consistent Communication- In both their automated marketing communications and their customer service tweets, chats and emails, the message and tone is extremely consistent.  They ooze with messages of positive feelings and happiness.  If you want an example of a company that is speaking in a consistent voice that is true to their mission, purchase something online from Road Runner Sports.
  • Social Engagement- I actually tweeted @RRSports to tell them I love their awesome communications and they responded almost immediately and engaged me in conversation.
  • Informative Website- It was extremely simple to monitor the status of my order and the shipping.  Truly the more information you can make available to your customers the better.
  • Responsive Chat Support- Their chat support was extremely helpful and prompt in assisting me when I voiced my concern.
  • They Read Feedback- Being unhappy with the shipping delay, I decided to fill out their customer service survey.  I received a response a day or two later from Jessica that was very apologetic for the delay.  She upgraded my shipping and gave me 10% off and upgraded shipping on my next order!  The fact that they are reading and responding to customer feedback is critical.
  • No One Ever Told Me I Was To Blame- Their customer service team had a few opportunities to show me that I was to blame for this and they didn’t.  They instead took action to make me happy and restore my confidence as a customer.  It would have been just as easy to rub my nose in my mistake and give me nothing to compensate for the trouble I caused.

Road Runner Sports is a terrific example of a company that is doing some critical things right when it comes to customer service and the overall customer experience.  These are six major things that can truly set companies of all shapes and sizes apart from their competition.

One thing is for certain.  This incorrect and unhappy customer is now a fan and student of the Road Runner Sports customer experience.


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  • Three things immediately came to mind when I read your post:

    1) It’s human nature to immediately blame someone else when things go wrong.
    2) It’s really difficult to admit you are wrong when you are a customer.
    3) Admitting you are wrong can often lead to better service.

    Awesome post, Jeremy.

    • Thanks Jeff! That is well said. I’m reminded of a time when I got out of a ticket for being honest. Of course I was honest 5 or 6 other times and still got the ticket 🙂

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