Thursday, 8 October 2009

Kiddicare customer service - a result!

I love to be proved wrong in these cases. It seems ridiculous to be surprised when common sense prevails but surprised, in this case I am. Despite the fact that I had to wait in the Kiddicare telephone queue listening to 'slam dunk da funk' by 5IVE on loop for 15 minutes, and despite the fact that I was making the call two days after I was meant to be receiving it, I did get to speak to Lisa.

Lisa, the customer services supervisor listened patiently while I explained to her the basics of customer services and how online businesses ought to operate. I explained the point about consumer opinions being every bit as visible as those of independent reviewers and that prospective customers gravitate towards the web before any significant purchase. I told her to Google 'Ryan Air Sucks' and see my post in 2nd and 3rd position and then to Google 'Kiddicare customer service' and see the 3 customer reviews mentioning words like 'appalling', 'abysmal', 'disappointing' etc. Anyway she got my point and promised to go check the lever personally.

She promised to call me back and she did. This in itself was a milestone given our experience to date. What happened next is a consumer victory to make even Lynn Faulds Wood proud. She agreed with me. She said that she'd tested our buggy, one from the shop floor (they do have one branch afterall) and one from the warehouse. All three levers seem stiff and inconsistent in their operation. The resolution, a full refund!

So, there you have it. Many people give up and just can't be bothered when it comes to bad service and I get stick from those who say I complain too much. But I seriously believe that, by not pushing the issue and just accepting things, poor service is perpetuated and things won't improve. It's frustrating and hard work but eventually as long as you have a point, you'll find someone who agrees and who cares about the place they work and its reputation. You don't always need to go to the top either. There are plenty of people willing to help but sadly they more often than not sit behind inept and poorly trained automatons who are only there to pay the bills. Customer service operators, like waiting staff are looked down upon in this country, as if it's not a proper job so you can hardly blame them. In the States, service is EVERYTHING and although I'm sure you can find poor service if you look for it, those people on the front line do seem to care.

Check out the video below on It's an online shoe store. So what, right? Actually no. This is a shoe store which people evangelise about because of guess what? Great Customer Service. These people give you free shipping, both ways so if it's not right send it back for nothing. Oh and you've got a year to make that decision. The CEO answers some of the customer services calls from his desk in the open plan office. Also, if they're out of stock, employees are instructed to look online and send an email to the customer with up to 3 links to competitors' websites where they the shoes are in stock. The result is that people tend to buy more and more shoes from Zappos instead of anywhere else and tell everyone they know how good is. People like me blog about it and tell people like Kiddicare about it and the good word spreads. It really is that simple.

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