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In last week’s Leader for Cleanzine’s sister publication KBzine, I said I was saddened to hear about postie Graham Bennett, who had died while delivering letters in the unusually high temperatures we’re experiencing. I said I felt for delivery people tasked with humping heavy loads around and suggested that customers give them some leeway if the weather causes delays, and that the offer of a cold drink would be nice and may even turn out to be a lifesaver…
My words came back to bite me on the backside this week (as we say in the UK) when – having persuaded my 85 year old mother that a Sainsbury’s superstore shop was a bad idea in this heat and that we should try an Asda home delivery instead – I downed tools to be at mum’s to await the delivery, scheduled for between 11.00 and 13.00. At 13.05 I called customer services to ask where it was, only to be told that according to terms & conditions, delivery may be up to an hour later than specified (well why not say 11.00 – 14.00 then so people can plan ahead? And I’ve yet to find this clause anywhere on the website)!
The offer of free delivery next time naturally prompted the response that we wouldn’t be using such an unreliable service again; customer services couldn’t do more so we asked to speak to a manager, whose call some time later revealed that a van had broken down that morning and that the spare was having trouble catching up time-wise; we were now third or fourth in the queue and could expect delivery by 15.00-ish. She offered to cancel the entire order, which we’d spent a good hour placing, and by now had waited more than three hours for, which as you can imagine made our blood boil!
Asda had everyone’s phone numbers so why on earth didn’t it phone those likely to be affected, warn us all that there might be a hitch and offer an alternative slot for those unable to wait in beyond the specified time? Communication is key when things go wrong. Get it right and you can keep customers onside – don’t bother and they’ll take their business to suppliers that make them feel valued.
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25th July 2013