Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise. ~Author Unknown

The headline to this blog should be constantly reminded to businesses on “How to Deliver Customer Service 101.”

In previous blogs I have lamented about the lack of insight by businesses who have “bricks and mortar” premises (in other words, buildings) who don’t check what their customers are saying about them online.

It comes as no surprise to me that Australian retailers who are doing it tough lately from the GFC (yes, it still is hurting people) are complaining about the added pain of business who are selling online.

However I think they are really missing the point.

Recently at a seminar, listening to the new Minister and new Commisioner for the Department of Fair Trading there was an open floor for the small business owners to say what was on their minds.

To my surprise, one small business owner was complaining about customers buying online; saying it wasn’t fair that the consumer didn’t have to pay GST on purchases under $1000.00 and what was the NSW government going to do about it?

I shouldn’t have been surprised but what does surprise me is how short sighted some of these business owners are about what is causing so much trouble in their businesses.
It’s definitely not just online buyers!

Many shops are just not offering good or great customer service anymore!

Just standing by a cash register looking disinterested just doesn’t cut it.

By meeting customers face to face you have the opportunity to make a lasting impression, people are so busy these days but if you make their life easier- it will be memorable.

Being honest about when stock is expected to arrive and then contacting you to let you know if it is running late used to be good manners. Not any more! Now some retailers just wait for the customer to chase them up to find out when their order is arriving….this just makes for a bad customer experience.

When you order online, you are sent an email  telling you when it is leaving the premises, how long the parcel will take to arrive… and finally an email asking if it was up to your expectations.
This is more customer service than many of the larger stores both to offer their customers, it used to be called manners and not just “customer service”.

Two recent experiences of mine are with 2 entirely different types of stores.
One involved buying a television only to be told after looking on the computer “that’s our last one so we have to order in more- there is an order pending and should arrive in 3-5 working days”.
Fine. But was this the case? No.
After waiting 8 days we phoned; “The order isn’t in yet…we think about another 10 days”…

This was a big store and finally when the stock arrived after 21 days, there was a queue of customers all picking up the same item. All of us knowing that we’d been had in the false promise of when the item would arrive. Why get our expectations up when only to be dissappointed?
Why do we have to continually phone to find out when a paid for item is going to arrive?

This is not a good buying experience!

The 2nd case just happened recently- this time I did research online to find out what others thought of the business. It was a worry- customer feedback was old and said they had waited 6 months for delivery!
A look around the store had an old customer testimonial (about 5 years old) but nothing recent..( I was fearful).
I walked away thinking maybe they have improved…
We were buying a front door and screen door- the front door was to be the one on the floor (great, so no stock to order) however there were signs saying they were looking for installers….

Was told  3-4 weeks wait with another 2 weeks for the screen door once the front door was installed.
So what happened?
3 months later the doors have been installed.
The job is beautiful however the wait yet again was an issue.
However this time I was sent an SMS asking for feedback- great! Here’s my chance- however their message had an incorrect email to send to. Coincidence? Possibly- but I made sure they knew their feedback had the wrong email address on it -if they really wanted to know what their customers were thinking they would correct it.

What latest customer service experiences have you had?
Am I just expecting too much???

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