We’ve all seen one of one of those How’s My Driving stickers on the back of a truck.
They seem to care but do they really?
My boyfriend recently ordered my birthday present online from a popular home and garden store. I won’t disclose the name, but let’s just say it rhymes with Shmowe’s. Anyway, he ordered it through their In-Store Pick-Up service so that he could pick it up from a store near me while he was visiting for my birthday, but when he went to pick it up, it wasn’t there. He was told that someone was supposed to be in charge of calling him to let him know it hadn’t arrived yet, but apparently they forgot, and they would have to call him back Monday. When they didn’t call, he called them, only to continue to get the run around. Almost a week later, the item showed up at his home (in a completely different state than where he had requested to pick it up). The only solution customer service would offer was for him to return it to the nearest store (40 minutes from his house) and have me re-buy it from the store where it was originally supposed to go. Only when he went to the store to return it, they couldn’t access his order in their system and refused to give him his money back. After spending almost an hour in the store dealing with several different store associates and managers, and becoming infuriated, he was given his money back. Needless to say, after their complete lack of help and horrible customer service in dealing with his issue, he would not be re-buying anything from any other ‘Schmowes’ store.
No matter how bad his issue became, not one person was willing to become solely responsible to insure he received call backs and verify that the matter was corrected and the customer was satisfied. Instead, he was given different answers from several different people and given the run around to the point where it ended up losing them two customers (both him and myself), and potentially more because apparently he was not the only person in their customer service line who had issues with their online in-store pick-up program (and of course all of you reading this who don’t want to take the chance of this happening to you).
The point of all this is that I work for Mills, a fairly large company that relies mostly on our site teams to handle property specific customer service issues. However, we recently added a resident relations position to our portfolio for those times when an issue reaches the level that the above mentioned story reached. This person is specifically responsible for getting to the bottom of such issues and working directly with the resident until the issue is resolved. This has become a great asset to our company and I believe that no matter how big or small the company, there should be some type of position similar to this available for customers.
Do you have a program in place to insure that customer issues never get out of control? Any tips on what has been most effective?