13 Jul A tale of two customer service experiences
I recently needed two new laptops for my colleagues. I ordered from a UK high street and online retailer called Currys/PC World mainly because of the promise of next day delivery.
When a week had passed and there was still no sign of the laptops, I rang customer services to find out when they would be delivered. I got through quickly (which I later found is unusual) and an apologetic representative told me the products had been delivered to a Unit 24 where they were signed for by a G Grant. Since the delivery address was a residential street, I was pretty sure the delivery had gone wrong, but I was assured that, within 48 hours, I would receive a return call telling me what had happened. Four days later nobody had called, so I engaged on Twitter and, after more apologies, was told my issue had been escalated to a team that come back very quickly and to expect a call that day. Still no call a week later.
Eventually someone knocked on my door with a parcel containing the laptops. This was the person they were delivered to mistakenly, at a business park half a mile from my home. My joy was short lived. The next day Parcelforce collected the same parcel to return it to Currys/PC World. A week later I finally got a refund – one month after buying the goods. At no point during the entire month, did the company proactively call, email or message me. I’ve since discovered that I am not alone in this experience and, in the event you are considering buying from this company, I strongly recommend looking at this page first: https://bit.ly/2AQBL3W
EE spreads the joy
In stark contrast, last week I had an issue with a bill for a mobile data dongle I use. I called the mobile company (EE) and was immediately offered a refund for the £30 I had been overcharged. The whole experience took less than five minutes. Sorted. Happy customer.
The quality of customer service offered by companies has got steadily worse for years and brands do not seem to understand the transformational potential of doing things well. The key is to empower staff, throw away the customer service scripts and treat the delivery team as what they are: the most important front-line brand ambassadors a company has.
It is not resolving the issue quickly that matters (although it certainly helps), it is listening, understanding the problem, planning how to solve it and delivering on that plan. Companies that understand this facilitate high levels of customer loyalty and return business. From now on, all my electronics are coming from AO.