Sales & Customer Service mentor Lillian Vernon responds:
I believe the customer must be treated with respect. I built my company based on gaining and retaining customer loyalty. Without my customers, there is no Lillian Vernon Corporation. When a customer is not satisfied with a product, personalization, or shipping, the customer has the right to return the product for a full refund, no questions asked, even 10 years after it was purchased. We often offer gift certificates or pay for expedited shipping if a problem arises. Our customer policies are clearly stated in all our eight catalog titles and on our Web site, Not only do our customer service representatives take orders, they also listen to complaints, recommendations, and praise.

When I started Lillian Vernon, I answered all customer calls myself, and their input helped improve my business. When the company grew too large for me to answer every call individually, I hired customer service representatives, but I always made sure to be kept apprised of customer feedback. I still read all customer mail that is addressed to me and will occasionally listen in on incoming calls at our call centers so as not to lose touch with our customers.

You must always remain committed to listening to and satisfying your customers. I built customer loyalty at Lillian Vernon by maintaining a commitment to offer unique products at affordable prices. I know that I must never deviate from these two values, or my customers will take their business elsewhere.