Moving at a Fast Clip

Anyone running a business, especially a retailer, knows that good customer service is just commonsense.

But how far should you go to eat the cost of something so that a customer is satisfied?

I recently placed an order online for a fancy hair accessory, per my older sister's request for a big barrette as a Christmas gift. Barrettes and other hair accessories can be key if, like my fashionable sister, you are the mother of two small children, teach college freshmen and are finishing up your PhD. Translate that to someone who doesn't have a lot of time to mess with her hair.

So I turned to a Web site, FranceLuxe.com, based in North Bend, Wash. It imports ooh la la hair clips and other women's accessories that are made in factories outside of Geneva, Switzerland and also sells high-end stuff in high-end stores like Bergdorf Goodman.

I got a call at home last week from a customer rep there saying the product I wanted was out of stock until January. So we chatted for a bit and agreed on a new product that could be shipped the next day.

When it showed up a few days later, it was not the color I had expected although it was what we had agreed upon via the phone. I called her back and she immediately said she'd send a different clip and I could keep the one I had already received at no charge because she "miscommunicated information about the product."

Small Business Readers - Does it make sense to take a hit financially to please a customer? Please post a comment below or e-mail me at smallbusiness@washingtonpost.com.

By Sharon McLoone |  December 12, 2007; 1:24 PM ET
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Comments

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Hair accessories? You should check out those available from Andrea's Beau -- a Washington, DC based busines -- that also, incidentally, sells to Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and more than 500 finer establishments throughout the world. Visit www.andreasbeau.com. Support local businesses.

Posted by: marc | December 13, 2007 10:47 AM

Little girls hair accessories? I have bought from several websites but my fav, especially for little girls is www.sweetbabybowtique.com

Posted by: Lily | January 6, 2008 3:58 PM

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