Monday, 12 January 2015

Good Customer Service - Be Reliable and don't make promises you can't keep

A few days ago I had what I call a bad Customer Experience when buying from an on-line retailer. It wasn't an experience that left me financially worse off or anything, it just left me very frustrated and determined never to venture near that web site ever again.

The story starts at the weekend when I was browsing the store, its a store I have visited before and frankly never had any problems with, but this time it was just after Christmas and I was hitting the sales.  I has been feeling a bit frumpy over the Christmas period and decided that I needed some new clothes (and to go on a diet, but that's another story) to get me out of the dumps. I knew I needed some new long sleeved, long bodied tops and I found some of a certain make on this web site. I altered the query so it brought up just those few that were available in my size and I narrowed it down to just 2. So bang, in goes my debit card details and Woosh! the tops are ordered. 

and then within a few hours I get an email saying:-

 Dear Sandra
We're sorry to let you know that the following item is no longer available: 


and 

 Hope you are not too disappointed and as a way of saying sorry I would like to offer you a 15% discount* off your next order.

 and then 5 days later I get another email saying the other items isn't available and offering me yet another 15% off.

And I'm thinking....... but there is nothing else I like that's in the sale and is my size! and why didn't you tell me when I ordered?  and when will the money be refunded?

and I still felt frumpy and in my frumpy mood I emailed them back to complain.

This is an extract of what I received back.

" We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that there's enough stock to meet our customers' demand, and our website is updated regularly to reflect our stock levels. Unfortunately, some items will always be more popular than we expected, and sell out sooner than anticipated.

If an item sells out we'll keep it on our website for a few weeks, just in case our suppliers are able to source new stock. Plus, if other customers who've ordered the item decide to send it back and it's in a re-saleable condition, it'll become available again. Of course, we can't guarantee that we'll receive returns in the size and colour you require, but if you really have your heart set on a particular item it's worth checking back on our website at a later date.

At the moment we don't have the facility to alert you if an item that's currently unavailable comes back in stock - but we'll update our website straight away if this happens"

So basically , the stock levels on their web site are never correct!

and then

"We don't charge items to your card until we've received confirmation that they're on their way to you. As the item hasn't been dispatched, the cost has not been debited from your card"

Why didn't they say so at the time of telling me that the item was not available?

Now I have moaned to you about my moan , I will tell you why I'm writing this blog posting. I just wanted to make it clear to any prospective buyers that I have a real thing about Customer Service. I can't bare this sort of attitude to customers. All customers should be treat as individuals and I think that is where these big retailers with their corporate web sites and systems fall down. 

So this is the 1st item in my Customer Service Charter

Be Reliable and don't make promises you can't keep



Even though I have my Etsy store and my own web site, I will endeavour to keep stock levels correct at all times. The stock levels will reflect items that I have already made , or items that I can quickly make up. If I have to buy yarn in to make up items, I will say so and I will let you the customer know within 24 hours when I anticipate the order to be completed.  If, for example I have a problem getting the correct yarn, I will let the customer know, as soon as I start hitting the problem and I will offer a solution, another type of yarn perhaps or something custom made for them.  I will not glibbly offer %discounts with coupon codes, what is the point when the customer does not want anything else from your shop at that moment in time. 

Nothing annoys a customer more than a broken promise and I now understand that from my personal experience.

1 comment:

  1. So true; I agree wholeheartedly! We can always learn from our experiences. Thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete

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