Warm wishes for 2019 from all here at blueumbrella HQ!

I always enjoy the festive break as it gives me thinking time before the start of a new year.  This Christmas I was thinking a lot about customer service and how one bad experience can put you off using a company you’ve used for years.

I recently had two very different customer service experiences and it made me very aware about how your feelings towards a company can change, and the value of great customer service.

I ordered 2 pieces of furniture from a well-known and reputable high street retailer. After I placed my order, I was told one item would be delivered within 7 days and the other would be delayed for 3 weeks. I asked, politely and reasonably I thought, if they could deliver both items together in 3 weeks’ time. Their customer service department told me this was impossible. When I asked why this was, I was given a convoluted explanation about ‘complex supply chain issues.’  No offer of an apology, or any sense they would try and accommodate my request. I continued my battle with them, both online and on the phone, all to no avail. The end result was me receiving 3 pieces of furniture over the course of 3 weeks! And to top off my experience, I was unable to cancel the third delivery, as it was ‘on the system’ and was told I had to reject the delivery on the day! Needless to say, I won’t be ordering any large items from this retailer again.

Around the same time, we had tickets for the theatre. One of our party became ill the day before and I thought I would call the box office to see if they could do anything for us.  My expectations were low as the ticket was marked non-refundable and non-returnable. My call was answered almost immediately by an extremely sympathetic staff member in the box office. To my surprise, and delight, they offered to change the date of our tickets. My experience here was so different and left me with a good feeling about the theatre, I will definitely go again.

I was wondering why I had these two very different experiences of customer service and wondered if it could be to do with the anonymity of purchasing online rather than in store and buying items against buying an experience.

I firmly believe good customer service costs less than bad customer service. We also know people are more likely to report a bad experience than a good one. In today’s competitive world, reputation and authenticity are keys to success.

No matter what industry, business or even country you are in, everyone is facing complex and challenging times. For us here at blueumbrella, this makes customer service even more important. We are very lucky to work with fantastic clients and customers, but I like to think we go ‘above and beyond’ in every interaction we have. It’s part of our DNA.

It would be good to hear your customer service stories – good and bad.