Lands' End Redux – Back from the Dead

Okay, last week I was very upset with Lands’ End. They are in the process of implementing both a new ordering and a new production system, and this has resulted in long, frustrating delays in processing orders.

The worst part was that prior to this I’d had always had extremely good service from them – so much so that I just expected it. If they had just had average service, I probably would have been a little more tolerant, as strange as that may sound, but after waiting a month I was a little upset.

Anyway, I canceled a fairly large order and was looking for another provider when I got a voicemail from a Ms. Ferrone. She’s a Senior Manager with Lands’ End’s Customer Care Services, and apparently they have a group within the company that searches the Internet and social networks for comments about the company. One of them discovered my blog entry and brought it to her attention, which I think is pretty amazing since I don’t believe any of my three readers works for them, but she tracked me down and wanted to try to make things right. I was off in Oregon and really didn’t have time to talk, but on Monday she caught me in the office and we had a nice chat.

She apologized profusely for the delay and she felt confident that the new system would result in a better experience for everyone, but in the meantime they were going “old skool” and manually handling account issues like mine. She asked if I would reconsider my order and offered a nice discount for the inconvenience, and I found I couldn’t stay mad at them, especially considering the effort they took to get in touch with me (take heed American Airlines and Centurylink).

So I gave her my order number and as she was investigating it, she told me it had already shipped. In fact, it had shown up in the warehouse the day after I posted the rant on my blog. Now, I would have known this if I had gotten my usual “shipped” e-mail from Lands’ End, but I still felt a little bad about it. I offered to return some of the discount but she insisted that they wanted to compensate me for the trouble.

The whole conversation lasted nearly an hour (those who know me won’t see this as unusual) and she seemed nether rushed or in a hurry to end the call. It was a wonderful customer service experience and had definitely won me back as a customer.

I have said in the past that the measure of a company is how they react when things go wrong even more than getting everything right, because if you work with anyone long enough something will go wrong. By that scale, Lands’ End is tops.