Posts tagged customer service

Delivery & Support – Keys to great customer service

Quite a while back, I placed an order for the iPad 2 on the Apple store. It shipped on the 17th of May.

Unfortunately, it did not arrive on time. As you can see below, the DHL tracking results. Basically, the problem lay with our stupid Malaysian customs and perhaps DHL. As a company that focuses on global logistics, the delay in customs is unacceptable. I wouldn’t have cared much if it was delayed a day or two. To spend seven days in customs is unacceptable. Corruption issues aside, I think a company like Apple would partner with DHL to provide shipping for their online stores because of certain service levels and proven track record in managing the complexity of global trade. Looks like a big fail here.

May 24, 2011 13:41 Kul – KUL Arrived at delivery facility – Kul – KUL
May 23, 2011 21:38 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 22, 2011 20:23 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 21, 2011 22:08 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 20, 2011 22:03 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 19, 2011 21:26 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 18, 2011 21:19 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 17, 2011 20:28 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 17, 2011 09:26 Szb – SZB Processed for clearance – Szb – SZB
May 17, 2011 01:02 Szx – SZX Departed from facility – Szx – SZX

No point in dwelling on the failure of DHL here but the key take away from this is that if you have a online business dealing with products, the delivery is as important as the rest of your business. My experience shopping at the Apple store is now poor due to this delivery delay!

However, I’ve some good news. I’ve never talked to a more sincere, upbeat and concerned contact center staff as I talked to Apple this morning. He came across as sympathetic but not condescending. I felt assured and he promised to follow up. I don’t think he knew that customs would clear it but still I felt better and I got a free iPad dock to boot. Would I buy from Apple store again, probably. Hopefully they sort DHL out quick!

Update 6:20pm : Apple actually called me up to say that DHL has delivered my iPad 2! Now that’s GREAT customer service!

Notes on a tiring Monday

Aren’t Mondays’ always terrible? Probably because most end up having so much to do over the weekend with so little time! Anyways, just a few things to share on this post.

First up is customer service. Most Malaysian companies aren’t noted for good customer service. This also extends to foreign companies with local staff. I mean, generally there’s no focus on putting the customer first and no matter how much training and customer first exercises a company does, the people just don’t seem to care. For example, if you’ve been to Starbucks in San Francisco or Lake Forest, take note of the customer service. I know customer service in the Malaysian Starbucks is already good (I get fast & prompt service, unlimited refills when I work on my notebook there, free donuts at times, extra shots when I really look like I need it badly, etc), it still doesn’t hold up to a store in California. Just like Think Tank Photo bags. When I just mentioned that my Pro Speed belt clip is a little loose and the webbing is beginning to fray, guess what happened? They sent me an entire replacement speed belt in 14 days. I know I’ll need a roller bag in the future. You know who’s getting my business?

So, imagine my surprise when I got superb customer service from a Malaysian company. First off, they made purchasing and payment easy. Free delivery to boot. Then as usual, we did change our mind on one or two items. Despite the All Sales are Final policy, they allowed the return _despite_ opened and damaged packaging. When we needed more items way after the sales period was over, the same discount level was extended. Better yet, they anticipated our need, stocked up their local PJ warehouse ahead of time so that when we actually placed our additional orders, stock was on hand. Invoices, pickup sheets all prepared ahead of time. And when the order was too small for credit card and I didn’t have enough cash, they waived the requirement. Recently, better still, they issued the delivery authorization and allowed pickup of items before even payment. In the CRM world, there’s a measure called Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s basically the answer to one question: Will you recommend this company’s products or services to a relative or friend on a scale of 0 (for never) to 10 (for definitely). You know what, they earn a 10 from me. That company is Niro Granite. And when I need more tiles in the future, they’ll have my business.

I know their broadband should be called narrowband and their Streamyx customer service is absolutely terrible but imagine my surprise when I made a complaint about a telephone pole obstructing the front of my house. Within a week, couple of guys came and moved the pole. I just wish they can fix their Streamyx problems this quickly!

Our electrical utility on the other hand, first assigned workers who are on vacation to perform the three-phase power upgrade of my new house. I called the technician assigned and get Saya Cuti (I’m on vacation) and gives me another technician who also was on leave. Two week later, their contractor comes and digs the road to lay the cables. Two days later, a second contractor comes and tars the road. A week later, right now, I’m still waiting for their vacationing technician to connect the main cable to the power supply. Earth hour last Saturday, hah, power was out at my house 24×7 thanks to TNB.

Anyways, spent the last weekend cleaning up and dust and all the debris of the renovation works. Maybe that’s why I need a double shot to get my system started. But you know, I’m still getting the low battery alert 🙂