Boohoo; Bad Communication
February 11, 2014
Following on from my ‘Wow Moment’ with DPD post I’m going to use delivery service (as provided by all online retailers and some high street ones) as a handy example of how communication is paramount to keeping a customer happy.
Sadly, the focus of this post is on a business that has failed to communicate appropriately with a customer.
Many businesses promise to get an item to a person before a specific date (especially around certain holidays) but when something goes wrong, a failure to communicate this information in a timely manner, so that customers are able to make a decision as to how they want to proceed, will lead to angry customers… and enough angry customers could soon start damaging the company’s brand reputation.
Generally people are understanding and realise that things (outside of a company’s control) can go wrong. Most customers are willing to give some leeway but usually only when information has been communicated in a timely and efficient manner.
It’s not just good enough to state there is an issue, a company should provide as much information as possible but they also need to go a step further. Companies should get into the habit of telling customers what is being done to rectify the problem, as well as a realistic timescale of when this will be achieved. Showing the customer you are being proactive and demonstrating empathy will go along way in quelling the bad feelings, potential bad PR and brand damage that could arise.
Now for an example of how not to communicate with a customer:
I ordered a christmas gift for my partner from the well known online retailer Boohoo. After a week of waiting, when the promised (and paid for) delivery scale had been 2-3 days, I had to contact them to enquire as to why my item had failed to arrive. I was informed that they were, due to the time of year, extremely busy but I was not to worry as the gift would be with me on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately Christmas Eve rolled by and nothing arrived. Then, after repeated attempts to contact the company, which were met with silence, I received a refund and nothing else. No apology, no explanation and no recompense.
This one situation, where a Boohoo not only failed to deliver but failed to communicate effectively, has made sure that I will never use them again and also warn others of my experience so that they can avoid the same fate as me.
Providing a timely delivery of a service and constant, informative communication throughout is key to turning a customer into a brand ambassador. In life things do sometimes go wrong but it is how they are dealt with that is the true measure of a business. So, don’t be like Boohoo and treat your customers as if they’re disposable, treat them with kindness and understanding and they can become your biggest advocates.