How your own customer service can destroy your reputation

How your own customer service can destroy your reputation

As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed this afternoon, I stumbled upon a status update that stopped me in my tracks.  A friend had shared the status of another friend.  A status update that instantly made me furious:


So Scentsy sends me an email that says they are canceling my account due to inactivity but I could reply with the reason that I haven’t been as active with my sales and they might reinstate my account, so I did, explained to them that this year I have been battling Breast Cancer etc.., guess what the response was, “sorry but we won’t be able to reinstate your account as Breast Cancer should not affect your ability to run your business” guess I know what company I’m not supporting anymore!! — feeling annoyed.


I was not only upset about the content of the message (seriously, who does this?), but as I learned more, I was a bit frustrated with the way this company is handling the delicate matter of their reputation.  Let me give you a little tip, Scentsy.  [highlight color=”yellow”]Your customer service is only as good as your front lines of communication.[/highlight]  Whether that be support agents, an online help desk, or your CEO himself, if you haven’t taken the time to listen to your customers, and train EVERYONE in your company on the way you want your company to be portrayed by the public, you’re going to have a problem.

Maybe not immediately, but it will happen.  Furthering my irritation, was the company’s response:

One of our Consultant Experience representatives sent a response last night to a Consultant, Wendy Chasek, in regards to the cancellation of her account.

She told Scentsy she was unable to actively pursue her business because of breast cancer. The representative replied with a form letter stating her circumstances should not affect her ability to run her business.

Please understand we do not stand behind the response that was given to her. It does not represent our policy, and more importantly, our values. The employee in question has been terminated, and Heidi and I have personally called the Consultant to apologize. In addition to terminating the employee, we have reached out to Wendy to reinstate her account. We’ll respect her decision if she no longer wants to continue her relationship with Scentsy.

We deeply apologize to Wendy, her family, and our fans. We understand the responsibility we have to always act with the highest standards of compassion and care, and in this case we failed to live up to those standards.

No, you are clearly not holding yourselves to high standards.  You’ve fired the offending representative?  How about training them properly in the first place?  Upon this post going viral, many other former consultants have come forward with similar stories.  This is not an isolated incident.  I may have high customer service standards, but the blame game rarely works out in reputation crisis situations.  In my opinion, starting with the last paragraph would have sounded much more sincere than ending with it.  Nitpicky of me?  Probably.

What do you think? Honest mistake or poor service training?