Yesterday was one of those days where making food seemed like a huge task*, we had so many other things to do. So we decided to order pizza. We experienced extremely poor customer service and I will tell you why here at my blog. What people working with customer care ironically seem to forget is the need of the customers and they try to fix or serve a need that is in no need of service. I find this funny, so I need to elaborate on this today.
I ordered pizza online with an estimated time of delivery approximately within the hour. All good so far, but from earlier experience, we always got the pizza within 40-45 minutes. When it got close to the hour I started to get my “Oooh…I am soon experiencing some nifty customer support” – this is where I start documenting everything with pen and paper. When another 15 minutes passed I called the pizza place. Oh they left 10 minutes ago was the short reply. I said, funny, I live 3 minutes away. Another ten minutes went by.
* This indicate that it was my turn to make dinner!
But that was not all.
I finally got the pizza after a delay of almost one hour. But the order was not complete. He forgot the kids-pizza and blamed it at chaos at work today. No, you don’t say I replied with sarcasm in my voice. Do you want a refund he said? No my six year old do not eat hot spicy pizza so I need you to get it for me. Another 30 minutes went by and he delivered a pizza that was burned and he did not bring the toy that always follows a kiddies menu. In the living room I had a hungry kid with high level of frustration and my night was almost ruined. Well I got a 50 % price cut, and they lost a customer for a very very long time. Why?
Why they lost me is simple
They did not provide me with food at the time my family planned to eat. They did not inform me about being late even if they must have known that there was chaos this night?
What if they called me and said: I am sorry we are behind on our orders today, we can bring your pizza at xx o’clock? Or if you would like you could order your pizza from (“competitor’s name”) and we will cancel your order with us today.
What would it lead to?
- I would wait, know and be happy
- I would cancel the order and order from the competition this one time, but I would for sure be a returning customer the next time
- They would not need to give me 50 % discount that I do not care about anyway. I want food!
- They would not need to deliver my pizza if I went to the competition, saving them time, making it possible to catch up.
I would either way be a happy customer. I would get my food on time, or be notified if time was not essential to my delivery.
I got an e-mail today where they offered me a gift certificate. That is nice but in real life it is just another way of wasting money, when they could save time and money by giving me a call. I am still ordering from the competition next time.
What did we learn?
The need of the customer might not be met by what you are offering. If your broadband connection is down, you might not care whether or not it is getting back up, but you do care about when and how you are going to place your orders within time limits! If you are out of Pepsi, you might still be thirsty, waiting until the next shipment of Pepsi won’t do. You need to solve the needs of your customer and not necessarily fix the problem – there is a difference.
Do you want to read more about customer care? Check out my customer care category for more.