If there’s one thing I cherish in my life (possibly more than anything else, sorry family), it’s the internet. My giver of Netflix, my answerer of questions and the bringer of socialisation on those days where we just can’t quite make it out of the door. It’s brought me so many things, this blog included, but most importantly, it’s brought me shops.
Okay, so I’ve always been an avid online shopper. But with the arrival of our son, and the impending arrival of a second baby, I’ve started to realise just how much I rely on it. I’m done tackling the crowds, I just want my wares delivered to my door… bish, bash, bosh. Especially clothes. There’s only so much one human should have to take and wrestling a bored toddler along the high street, through the narrow pathways between displays and in to a changing room is a step to far. Not to mention the fear of sticky handprints, disapproving looks and a screaming fit in the changing room. Or worse, a stink explosion.
I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d come to rely on my online magical parcel provider until it went wrong. Christmas was coming thick and fast and suddenly the unthinkable happened… my parcel didn’t appear. I waited and nothing. I emailed and nothing. Apparently everything had disappeared into thin air. My goods were gone.
It wasn’t the lack of parcel that surprised me the most. It was the fact that the system had failed. I’ve had things delayed or missing before and always been met with slick customer service; a new one appearing days later, tracking details sent, apologies issued. It doesn’t put me off. In fact, over 75% of the population* agree with me that good customer service is important, and in my eyes, a job well done makes me more likely to return.
I’m one of life’s planners and I like knowing that, if something does go wrong, it’ll be easy to put right. Like 25% of other people*, one of my biggest pet peeves is poor communication and that’s exactly what I was dealing with. I struggled to get through, emails were left unanswered and questions were asked over and over despite me giving the information. My biggest annoyance? That despite me using online shopping to avoid that personal interaction, I was now unable to get any. There was no phone number to call, no online chat to use. Something which would have taken five minutes to sort via a conversation took over two weeks of backwards and forwards via a strange messaging service. By the end I was tired, frustrated and downright annoyed.
Compare that to the company I next went to to re-purchase those missing items. Scarred a little by my previous interaction, when I didn’t receive a confirmation email, a quick phone call, answered by a (very) chirpy lady filled me in that yes, despite it being Christmas Eve, my parcel would be delivered that day and was in fact only an hour away from me. She was quick, efficient and friendly without making me feel like an idiot for worrying. She apologised profusely for the delivery email failing and offered to refund my delivery costs purely for the inconvenience. Better yet? My parcel appeared exactly when she said it would. Less that 20 hours after ordering it. On Christmas Eve.
It restored my faith in my best friend (the internet, did you forget that?!). It saved me from my brother’s relentless comments about organisation and how I’d left his gift until the last minute. But most of all, it made me realise the importance of truly good customer service and how it can make or break your shopping experience and your faith in a company. I’d never order from that first company again, and yet the second can now count me as a complete convert. As a parent, I already have enough moments that could turn my day upside down, I need to rely on my online shopping obsession to not let me down!
*figures taken from this infographic by CCSN