I would bet my life that most people reading this have experienced poor customer service of late.
I find myself in the all too common position recently of being on the receiving end of some spectacularly bad customer service from a well known magazine subscription provider.
They have happily taken my annual subscription for four years now so when the renewal came round this January I thought I would stick my neck out and ask if they would throw in the snazzy and expensive golf club which was being offered to “new” subscribers only as a free gift.
To be honest I expected a flat out no, but when they came back with a yes of course Mrs Armstrong I was delighted. Victory for the little man (or woman in this case), you don’t ask you don’t get and all that.
18 emails, 12 weeks and a strongly worded letter later do I have said free gift? That would be a no. Ben, or Becky or was it Matt or Verity, I’ve lost track now, have all provided their sincerest apologies and they do understand why I would be very frustrated with this outcome. Do they really, seriously, are they kidding?
They have assured me they want to retain my custom so whilst they can no longer provide the free golf club now it’s out of stock they would like to know if I would settle for 12 SRIXON AD333 golf balls. At the end of my tether I said yes, it suddenly didn’t feel like such a victory, I think I might have even gained the odd grey hair through the whole dire process.
So the golf balls have arrived, they are indeed the SRIXON AD333s, just one small problem, I may pay for the renewal but the magazine goes to my father, he plays, I don’t and yes you’ve guess it, they sent the blooming balls to me!!
I don’t feel remotely rewarded for my loyalty and most certainly will not be renewing the subscription next year. I don’t appreciate being asked to “settle” for a back up gift because someone forgot to do their job properly and process the correct free gift in the first place as promised.
Nothing grates more on a customer than promises not delivered, loyalty being taken for granted and fake sincerity from a faceless person who you know could not care less about your predicament.
It’s not hard to reward loyalty, to provide a good service, to make the consumer feel good about the decisions they have made to buy into your brand, product or service.
We continually strive to improve the customer experience at OAM – and in order to do so actively encourage feedback on our services.
Personally nothing gives me greater pleasure than developing client relationships built on confidence and trust. Over the years I’ve learned that customer loyalty is of great value and not to be taken for granted.
Recent press covered the immediate response by the high street pharmacy Boots in relation to their error of judgement in introducing gender signage for children’s toys. Their customers took to Twitter and Facebook to make heard their views on this seemingly sexist stereotyping – http://bit.ly/14PAT80.
Boots listened to their customers, heard what they had to say and took action, immediately removing the in store signage which had been considered offensive.
How refreshing that a market leader listened to what their customers had to say and their decisive action to rectify the situation will no doubt have resulted in continued customer loyalty.
Happy customers are good ambassadors and all of us in business would do well to remember this.
Dr Claire Armstrong