Complaints can become opportunities for improvement for any company, as they help us locate problems and improve procedures.
Today I am going to tell you a true story that happened to me recently.
The following entry on the management of complaints and claims is divided into 4 parts:
- The protagonist of the story
- The purchase expectation
- The complaint: delivery
- The solution to the complaint
Two months ago, I decided to go to a store where I knew they could have a shoe model that I have always liked for its design, quality, and comfort. If I had to define them in one word, I would say that they are “cool,” with the added condition that I see very little of them in the shop window, which makes me forget about them for a good season until I see them again, usually by chance.
I saw them five years ago, but I couldn’t buy them because they didn’t have my number. And I understand it because, sometimes it happens, if you also wear a size as standard as 41 – 42 and you are looking for a model that is in short supply, it is expected that you find it in another size such as, for example, 44 that has nothing to do with it.
I assure you that sometimes I went into the store, after seeing them in the shop window, asking if they had my number with the consequently expected response of “sorry, we only have 43 or 44 left.” If I keep asking if they will have it on the following few dates, given the model, they neither confirm nor deny that I stay as I was. And the same thing always happens to me, and I leave the store upset, wondering if I will be able to buy them on request one day.
The Purchase Expectation
The other day I luckily saw them on the loose-size shelf of a store specializing in sportswear.
I called the clerk, and he told me that this model was the 44, … Hey, almost right! But that he was going to ask his partner if there were a pair of the 42 left in the warehouse. Ten minutes of continuous waiting without knowing if yes, if not or if perhaps next week a model from the previous collection will arrive that includes this model because … When I just looked up at that moment and saw him arrive with some confidence, which invited to think that there was some possibility. I had to wait a few more minutes because a girl approached him, who was undoubtedly also looking for him, making inquiries that diverted him to another section, making the wait last five more minutes.
When he finally arrives again, he tells me that he does indeed have them, but not in the store’s warehouse. Still, the central one and that the discount for a loose size was for the model of the size he had seen, 44, and what if wanted in 42, they would have to formalize the purchase through their online platform and, logically, they would have to pay them in advance, then send them to the address that they suggested.
As you can imagine, I couldn’t try a size 42 and had to settle for trying a size 44 to get an idea. Anyway, I had to trust the goodwill of the clerk and the desire to have them again, convincing myself that with 42, I would have no problem and that I could always return them.
He assured me that it would take between 3 and 4 days to arrive at the address and check the status of the order through the digital number displayed on the purchase receipt. And that they would notify one day before delivery by SMS to confirm that the next day there would be someone to pick it up.
As the store was not in my usual residence, I asked him if there was any problem in sending it to another city, and he assured me that it was not.
The Complaint: Delivery
Days passed, and my surprise was that when I checked the status of the order, on the fifth day, it said “on delivery,” the sixth day the same, the seventh … the ninth the same … had been misplaced, lost, or damaged.
I called the central office, but they did not give me a convincing answer, simply that they were going to consult the logistics operator to see what was happening and that they would call me. I also decided to call the store to tell them what was happening, explaining that it was not up to them, that it was a matter of transportation and that they were going to call the headquarters.
Two more days went by without receiving any call or SMS notification that they would be delivered the next day. I called headquarters and the store again, this time with a written complaint. Despite all the good disposition, they answered me that they were studying what happened and calling me.
The truth is that I already thought they were lost or misplaced. I didn’t know what to think.
The Solution To The Complaint
Finally, after twelve days, a neighbor gave me a delivery notice that he had seen on the floor of my portal and that the delivery company had left indicating the collection point in a collaborating store.
I promise you I have a mailbox, but I imagine the man would be in a hurry. That I do not doubt, at all, in the effort that this work entails, that the distribution is very complicated and even, sometimes, complex and tedious due to the traffic, stops, parking lots, traffic lights, traffic jams, retentions, etc.
I wonder what would have happened if the clerk, instead of ensuring delivery in three or four days, had told me in nine or ten days … Or if when checking the status of the order on the web instead of reading the same message for several days, ” in delivery “there would have been a message added such as” in delivery, “delivery in the city, “delivery in town, “etc … Or if they had notified me the day before delivery the next day, etc.
In short, if you notify in advance, giving a longer delivery time at the time of purchase, the customer trusts your word and will not care to wait a few more days, avoiding a whole series of confusing situations that they will appreciate and value for a subsequent purchase.
Therefore, Before An Online Sale, It Is Advisable:
- Respect the delivery deadline or increase it if you cannot meet it
- Answer complaints being decisive
- Notify correctly in the different phases of delivery.
As you can see, a complaint about a problem provides an opportunity for improvement. Proper follow-up and effective management of problems can make us grow, expand technical means, and conceive customer relationships from a more commercial perspective. If you add adequate handling of conflicts that may arise, working with a positive language and different negotiation techniques, you will have customer service of 10.