Going to great lengths for our customers

14 March, 2012 Company, Online

To indicate the kind of customer service standards we believe in I’ve detailed the liaison with a customer which occurred recently below.

A customer in Adelaide recently ordered an oven via Appliances Online on a Friday, and set up delivery for the following Monday. Although we offer national distribution and have plans to open a warehouse in Adelaide in the next few weeks, for the interim goods are either delivered by the brands themselves, or via third party couriers. In this case, we had organised for Electrolux (not a proforma brand – so we own the stock and the sales transaction with the customer) who has an existing warehouse in Adelaide to deliver the oven to our customer. However when Electrolux rang to confirm the delivery time the customer’s voicemail said they were out of town. Because of this miscommunication, Electrolux cancelled the delivery until they heard back from the customer.

On Monday our customer rang us asking where the delivery was. Our customer had taken the day off work and had organised an electrician to come and install the oven that evening – which hadn’t arrived. She was upset. This situation worsened when we realised Electrolux had finished their deliveries for the day and the warehouse was closing shortly. The customer support staff member elevated the priority of this call two other staff members and I flew into action and spent the next two hours on the phone – calling in favours from Electrolux head office and their warehouse manager in Adelaide, and on the phone to other couriers in the vicinity of the warehouse. Eventually we came to a solution. Our auditor – and the only person I know who lives in Adelaide – managed to borrow a friend’s ute, pick up the oven from the warehouse (along with his wife from her work and his son from his first day at school) and personally deliver the oven to the customer in time for the electrician to install it.

In terms of man hours, two people and myself worked on this deal – amounting to about six hours of our time – to make sure the customer delivered what we had promised. This isn’t a standalone case of going above and beyond for our customers, but it shows we are all hands on deck when it comes to providing our customers with the experience they expect. It also shows we value working as a team so we don’t let people down. We are not afraid to put the extra effort in – often at a cost above the original order – to help make our customers happy.

special mention should be made to our auditor Nick Matsis from NRM Johnson and also to Electrolux for staying open to allow us to complete the delivery. I am sure there are not many companies who could call in a favour like this from their auditors and Electrolux are certainly a company (non agency) that understands customer service.

In today’s world, customers are king and brands that disappoint are not easily forgiven.

3 Responses to “Going to great lengths for our customers”

  1. Charlie says:

    Hi John

    Great article. With this case you’ve addressed one of the huge Achilles heels of online retailing – the back end delivery and communication between parties to get the delivery to occur when promised.

    It’s amazing now that some online retailers do not stress the importance of this enough.

    I’ve been waiting for a parcel since 24th feb from one all online retailer – I’ve had to follow up on email and I got no response, then had to call to have the “friendly staff” as their site claims tell me that the delivery company has had a huge problem.

    All it would have taken would have been a communication to all outstanding deliveries and this company couldn’t even manage that. And this company claims to be a big player!

    Anyway your actions went way beyond – great stuff.

    Charlie

  2. [...] Impressing every customer is something we believe in at Appliances Online, Big Brown Box and Winning Appliances; as I mentioned in a post yesterday we often go the extra mile to reduce the fallout when things do go wrong. [...]

  3. Paul says:

    The sooner you get warehouses everywhere and keep up with service like this, you’ll be able to call yourself appliances.com.au and drop the whole “online” act, you will become an appliance superpower. Gerry will eat his hat.

    I can’t wait for the next level, custom branded WINNING appliances.

    Introducing … the WINNING TOASTER, WINNING KETTLE and WINNING MICROWAVE!

    Seriously though, that’s not a bad idea.

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