Customer service dos and don’ts – real life examples

This weekend I came across two very contrasting examples of customer service – one good, one bad. Whilst both related to problems my family and I had experienced, the way the two companies involved dealt with the issues were quite different.

The disappointing example of problem resolution came from www.just-eat.com. I don’t know if you’ve used Just Eat before – the service allows you to browse and order the takeaway of your choice using their web site. Restaurants are presented in categories, independently rated and presented in relative proximity to your house to help you choose. Until my most recent experience, I was a big advocate. Not any more…

On Friday evening, using my iPad, I placed a pizza order from one of the restaurants listed on the site. However the order I had in my ‘basket’ on the iPad before I pressed submit was not the order that appears to have submitted and was therefore delivered.

Surely user error? Well, I’m no mug when it comes to using technology and a quick search on Twitter revealed that I was not alone in having this problem when using their site on the iPad.

Anyway to cut a long story short, Just Eat refused to take any responsibility for the problem when we contacted their online customer service team. When I then turned to Twitter to vent my anger, they were quick to contact me in helpful tones with a request to email them details of the order and my problem. (Good use of social media to manage customer service you might think). Well yes in some way but when I did email them, they again rolled out the same stock answers as before – ‘not our problem’ and nothing we can do. I could only imagine their request to email my issue was an attempt to silence me on the more public forum of Twitter…

My conclusion? Just Eat delivered hollow words, an attitude that smacked of “the customer is always wrong” but most importantly left me ultimately feeling aggrieved. This sort of attitude may explain their Trust Pilot category ranking – 127 out of 138!

In marked contrast, take a bow Aspace children’s furniture through whom we ordered a desk for my daughter several months ago. We were told that the desk could not be delivered until the end of September but were happy to proceed nonetheless. On Saturday, we received the following letter from the Managing Director informing us of a further delay in delivery. It’s well worth a read.

Beautifully crafted customer service letter

The letter was beautifully crafted. It was empathetic, honest, amusing and used accessible language rather than corporate platitudes. It’s a perfect example of how a potential customer service problem, when dealt with well, can turn the customer into an advocate. My wife and I were impressed. We’ve shown the letter to several people since and despite the delivery issues, we’d recommend Aspace to anyone as a result. That’s the benefit of service with a smile – the smile you leave on the customer’s face.