If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Excellent Customer Service from CreateSpace

I’ve forgotten what the actual statistics were from my MBA marketing course about the ratio of the number of people who receive unsatisfactory service and tell someone about it as compared to those who tell someone after receiving excellent service. I think it was 2:1, but I suspect in the age of Facebook and immediate gratification provided by venting, the ratio is really much higher. These days, we’re likely to vent publicly and praise privately.

One stat I do recall is that it takes a dozen good experiences to make up for one bad one.

Is it just my contrarian nature that this blog is about a bit of excellent customer service I recently received from CreateSpace? (CreateSpace, for those who don’t know, is an Amazon subsidiary used by many independent authors and small presses as their publishing company. I also use IngramSpark.) Sure, you can believe that if you’d like, but you might want to think about how implementing practices that go above and beyond would affect your life if you implemented them.

The issue


I was selling my books at a craft show in Amasa, MI and a mystery reader wanted to buy a copy of Bad Policy. I went to autograph it for her and discovered that the top 3/8” had been trimmed from the first 14 pages, cutting off the header and leaving the pages too short. I grabbed the next book, which was fine, and completed the transaction. Later I checked: only the one book of the order had a problem.

A cost benefit analysis would indicate I should pitch out the badly published book rather than potentially waste a lot time dealing with a huge corporation to receive appropriate restitution. But I knew loyal readers of Writers Who Kill would want to know how this turned out. (Ha! If you buy that, I have a slightly used bridge I’m willing to sell.) I’m retired; I’m over 65; we’re supposed to waste our time trying to reverse $7 charges.

The resolution

I didn’t bother trying to talk to an individual. (It was Labor Day evening.) I completed a quick online form letting them know of the problem and received an immediate automatic email reply acknowledging receipt.

And when I looked at my email the next morning, there was a personalized email giving me a link to provide them with specific information: order number, number of books affected, a print run number at the back of the books, and a picture of the issue.

I took a picture, completed the form, sent it off, and within the hour received another email indicating they were sending a replacement book at no cost. I didn’t actually see that email until later in the afternoon because I wasn’t at my computer.

Wow, I thought, that’s great. Oh crap, I thought, they’re sending it to the wrong address. I had used a friend’s address for that order because we were traveling from our southern to northern residence and staying with her; now the replacement was heading her way. I sent another email to CreateSpace to indicate the problem and provide, if it wasn’t too late, the correct address to use.

The next morning, I awoke to another email. They were unable to stop the package because it had already shipped. At their cost they were sending an additional volume to my preferred shipping address.

Now THAT is going above and beyond, especially since if I had been thinking the day before, I could have called the customer service number they provided with each email and perhaps short-stopped the original replacement package.

Of course it would have been preferable for quality control to have caught the problem before they shipped me a defective book. That said, good service would have been to provide me credit for the botched book or ship a replacement by the least expensive means. Great service was to ship the replacement book using expedited shipping (which is what they first tried). They earned my Excellent Service Citation when they took on additional cost to make sure I was not inconvenienced by their shipping the replacement to a wrong address, even though it was through no fault of theirs.

And if anyone asks how satisfied I am with CreateSpace, I’ll ramble on about how it’s a company that went well beyond what was necessary to solve my problem.

Considering my personal brand, isn’t that what I would like people to say about me, too? The next time I need to address an issue, I’ll try to keep CreateSpace’s model in mind.


~ Jim

8 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

When I put my 7th book up last week, I had trouble with the cover because it was too many megabytes. I contacted my cover artist, and she immediately fixed the problem, and I continued on with little problems. However, when it was approved for ordering the next day, all went well until my credit card was denied. I knew it was good so I contacted Create Space asking them to call me NOW. Immediately, the phone rang and the young man walked me through how to change the credit card because I'd been issued a new one with a chip and a different expiration date. It was all done quickly and with much patience. My shipping date was to be in ten to twelve days, but three or four days later, I had all 30 books I ordered. I've always found Create Space very helpful. Once I got books that only had 8 chapters. I immediately contacted them, and within a very short time I got perfect books delivered at no charge.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Create Space is responsive. Good to know.

Jim Jackson said...

Gloria -- good to know you also had excellent service from CreateSpace.

KM Rockwood said...

Customer service is alive and well!

I appreciate companies like Create Space that have layers of contacts, but ultimately will let you through to a real human being (who speaks reasonable English) when you really need to talk to someone. Infinitely beats the endless loops that put you back to the menu until you finally either give up (it was only $7) or write a letter.

Warren Bull said...

Good to know. Congratulations to Create Space for their excellent service.

Kait said...

I've not used Create Space for a while and I never had a problem with them, but I do know others who have had problems and all have success stories to tell. From all appearances, it's a company that puts its consumers first. Rare in this day and age, but it does seem to be a hallmark of Amazon too. Must be in the corporate culture.

Frankly, I prefer to praise than pan and I do try to take the praise public and keep the pans private. Somewhere I remember reading that every review influences 151 people. Don't know if it is true, but I have pulled that out of the brain bank at times when customer service reps are giving me a hard time. It seems to turn things around a bit.

The Bass Pro shop in Fort Lauderdale used to have a sign up in its customer service area--it read "A lot of companies tell you to go to Helen Waite with your problem. She does not work at Bass Pro. Tell us instead." I loved it!

Jim Jackson said...

I love your Bass Pro Shop story, Kait.

Kait said...

Isn't that cool. I think it took me two trips to get it.