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  • Writer's picturethianecarter

Black Businesses & Customer Service = Black Excellence

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Since we’re all family here, let’s talk about customer service and Black owned businesses. I’m so disappointed when I hear people say that they don’t use Black businesses because of poor customer service. Actually, I'm more than disappointed, I'm sick of you.

When I have an issue with a product that I have purchased from Target, I take it to the customer service desk. An employee with no stake in the company and no personal interest in the Black community will listen to my problem and issue a refund. In any other circumstance, we go to the business, engage with their employees and have our issues resolved. Why is it that we expect Black businesses to be any different? Every business, especially small businesses, make mistakes. Why is it that we allow Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart to make mistakes, but when it comes to Black businesses, we just write them off? If you’re looking for a reason NOT to use a Black owned business, I am SURE that you will find one. But if you sincerely intend to support Black businesses, if you are truly committed to having an economic impact on Black businesses, then I believe you will find thousands of businesses who will do their absolute best to provide #blackexcellence. (If you're interested in the history, legacy and lineage of Black excellence in business, search for "Durham North Carolina and Black Wall Street" or click on the image).

Now - with all of that said...

I have always been an advocate for minority and women-owned businesses (it is, in fact, my job). However, with the death of George Floyd and awakening of America, I have become more intentional and committed to using Black owned businesses in my personal life. I’ve purchased from multiple businesses over the past 4 months, but two of those purchases stand out to me.

I ordered candles from Southern Elegance™ Candle Co. and they arrived within a week (take THAT Amazon)! The candles smelled FABULOUS, but they burned unevenly. I figured it was user error, so I reached out to Southern Elegance to ask how to burn them correctly. The owner PROMPTLY responded to my question and replaced the candles that I had burned. If I had ordered those candles from my usual sources and they burned incorrectly, the store wouldn’t respond to my question, much less, replace my candles. This level of customer service is the epitome of #blackexcellence.

The products I ordered products from Blk Sunflower arrived with a handwritten note. The note indicated that due to a calculation error, I had been overcharged for my order. included an additional product (body scrub, y’all need to get into that!) in excess of the overcharge. If I had ordered from another business, maybe they would have admitted the error - maybe not. Perhaps they would have refunded the overcharge - maybe not. But I would NOT have received a handwritten acknowledgement of the mistake. I would NOT have connected to a business owner and experienced her meticulous, caring, professional business manner. And I would not have had the opportunity to support a Black owned, woman owned businesses. Blk Sunflower made a mistake with my order - but they fell UP. They rose to the occasion and I’m convinced that Black owned business owners will fall UP when there is an error, if we give them the chance.

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