One of the first blogs I wrote was about my experience with BT, using Twitter as a customer service. I won’t regurgitate that blog however it you want to read it, click here.
It was interesting dealing with BT via Twitter as I had an almost seamless process from response through to resolution. It’s not a channel that I would immediately go to to resolve an issue however it demonstrates how important it is for organisations to monitor their brand across social media in order to react to issues before they mushroom.
Well, 2 weeks ago I ordered a case of Brewdog online. The money left my account, quick as you like however after a week and no beer, I dropped Brewdog an email for an update on my order. Naturally I received a response citing stock problems for the delay however it would be dispatched soon. Fine I thought, and later that day I received an email confirming that my order had been dispatched. Excellent! Not long to wait until craft beer goodness.
Now, whenever I order wine from Naked Wines, NW’s delivery guy gains access to my building and leaves my wine outside my door (I live on the top floor of the building and I find it highly unlikely that anyone will ever venture there – touch wood). When I got home on Monday, I expected to see a case of beer sitting on my doorstep however nothing was there. Once I opened the door, I noticed a ‘you weren’t home’ note from UK Mail couriers with a consignment number and a URL to arrange redelivery. So, I logged on to their site and found some sort of relic from the 70’s (ok, about 5 years ago) which looked awful and had a terrible customer journey.
Long story short, I wasn’t able to arrange redelivery as they only delivered Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. Yep, you read that right. Pretty much the exact window where I am out of the flat with the whole purpose of earning money so that I can order beer online in the first place! I was furious! Naturally I did the first thing that any sensible rational person does in this day and age… I bitched about it on Twitter. I didn’t expect any more than a slightly smug rant on my part with a follow up call in the morning but lo and behold, the following morning I received a message from UK Mail the next morning, offering to help.
Wow! How impressive is this! Fair play to UK mail for monitoring their social media presence. I immediately felt reassurance and that my issue would be resolved toot suite. They asked me to follow them on Twitter (they followed me back) and asked me to send them a direct message with my consignment number and they’d look into the order. Wow wow wow. But, it wasn’t to be. As the below messages highlight, whilst it’s great that they are responsive to social media, their business model is so inflexible that they are actually unable to deliver my order without me taking a day off work. As you can see, even suggestions of attempting to deliver to me first thing in the morning or dashing home to collect at the back end of the day are rebuffed as they are not able to control the movements of their drivers. I genuinely feel that I’m being punished for having a job.
I’m sure you can see, the solution they offer to resolution is to return to the original sender and request that the sender changes the delivery information. So, yet more hassle for me! I have to sort out arrangements for my own bloody delivery! And what guarantee do I have that even if Brewdog do as I request, that I’ll still receive my order? In the end, I did as they requested and contacted Brewdog with a strongly worded email and informed them of the problems that I have had with UK Mail, and advised them that the did not use UK Mail for order fulfilment in future. Brewdog are a brand that are very proud of who they are and what they do, and you know what, I’ll be surprised if they don’t consider their delivery service in future as poor service detracts from their brand.
In conclusion, I think it’s fantastic that organisations are embracing social media to deal with customer problems but if your business is so inflexible that you are unable to resolve issues to the satisfaction of your customers, it’s just going to cost your badly. I was elated when I received the initial response from UK mail but felt crushing disappointed when I was unable to achieve a resolution.