The first pair of shoes I bought online arrived to destination quickly. I was happy until I discovered that they didn’t fit. I figured I could just return them – after all, a clothes and apparel company must be used to returns, right? Problem number one surfaced when I read the instructions on how to return the product: the shipping company assigned to handle returns didn’t operate in my country. So I found another delivery company, and paid for sending the items back. When I got notification that the company had received the shoes, I kindly emailed them back saying I had yet to receive a replacement or a refund. No response. I called them, and I was told they would fix it right away. So I waited. And waited. I never received a replacement pair of shoes, or my money back. Needless to say, I won’t be shopping from that e-commerce retailer again, and I have warned my friends from doing so. A shopper’s nightmare: This is the worst fear connected to online shopping come true: returning a product and never receiving a replacement - or your money back. And as the brand is located in another country, I felt like there was nothing else I could do – aside from complaining online, and warning other shoppers that this is not a trustworthy retailer. You want to know the worst part of all these stories? It wasn’t the issues that caused me to abandon these companies: rather, it’s the way the problems were handled. Had the companies listened, and offered a solution, I would probably still be their customer. People are creatures of habit: if a service we have used before has satisfied us, we are likely to stay loyal. If you notice that you lose customers quickly, you’d better start wondering: what am I not doing? Who am I not listening to? Customer service expert Jay Baer believes that unhappy customers are your most important customers: their complaints show you what you are doing wrong, and give you a possibility to do better. And yet, one third of customer complaints go unanswered. Although 40 percent of a company’s revenue comes from their current customers, and although it’s much cheaper to maintain a current customer than to gain a new one, in average companies spend just a measly 2 percent of budget on customer service. A customer service horror story like the ones above can be enough to scare a customer away for life. If you want to give shoppers long-lasting chills, make sure to follow the example of the three customer service nightmare masters above. If, on the other hand, your business plans do not include losing customers by the handful, make sure you deal with issues, and that you listen to customers, respond to complaints and resolve issues timely.