My daughter had recently been hunting for a new winter jacket. She is 15 years old so this isn't necessarily the easiest of tasks to accomplish! She found one that she absolutely LOVED though...just not in the right size! We tried all the stores in the city and they had the size bigger and smaller than she needed, just not the perfect size. After visiting 4 stores, we were told by a helpful young sales associate that we could order the size she was looking for on their website and it would be delivered to our home directly...and we could return it to the store if it didn't fit. That sounded fantastic (although not sure why it took 4 stores before someone shared that HUGE BENEFIT with us?)
We went home and promptly ordered her perfect jacket and it was delivered within 2 days. We were shocked and delighted with the service. This created a WOW for us both - sad news was that it didn't quite fit right either. So, this wasn't meant to be her jacket (and yes, we're still on the hunt). Remember the other piece of great news about using their website though - I could return it to the store around the corner from my home. So, I did just that.
I walked into the store, feeling very happy about my experience with this company so far. I approached the "people pleaser" at the counter and she was quite friendly and bubbly. I shared with her that the jacket hadn't fit properly and I would like to return it - with receipt in hand from my online purchase. She looked at it and said "you payed with Paypal so we can only give you a store credit". Nowhere during my purchase had this been communicated - if I had paid with Credit Card, I could get a refund but their company POLICY was that if you paid with Paypal, you could only have a store credit. Due to their POLICY, there was nothing else that they could do to help me.
I am of the belief that these happy and cheerful people helping you don't make the POLICIES and really aren't empowered to do anything to change it so after a couple of questions, I could tell that she was also frustrated and I won't take the issue out on them. I also won't trust this store with my business in the future as it left me feeling disappointed and unimportant to this company.
Customer Experience Tip: Customers should never hear the word "policy" come out of the mouth of anyone towards them in your company. Instead, customer loyalty needs to come first. Policies are meant to guide your business and should be created with a "customer first" philosophy. Make it easy for your customers to do business with you, come back again and tell other people about you!