How your choice of delivery partner may impact your customer service reputation

Thumbs up for customer service

Thumbs up for customer service

I’ve written about this topic in a previous post, “What makes good customer service?” It’s clearly important to people, as this is one of our most popular posts.

Today, I’m writing this post from the customer side of good or bad customer service. This time I was the person receiving the delivery. This is what happened. My parcel didn’t turn up as expected. I checked the tracking website to discover that the driver reported a failed attempt to deliver and that I was expected to take my collection card to a local depot to pick up my parcel myself. I looked for a collection card. There wasn’t one. I checked the date and time of the reported delivery attempt. I was definitely at home all that day. I reviewed the footage recorded by our video door phone. While I saw plenty of activity, there was no sign of a delivery driver attempting to deliver my parcel or leaving a collection card for me to take to the depot.

I’m sure you’ll understand that I wasn’t at all happy about this. Knowing that the  driver chose to lie rather than do the job he was paid to do upset me the most. While I was aware that it was a single person’s behaviour at fault here, I considered that the delivery company (a national institution) and the online retailer (a large company) were responsible for getting my parcel to me safely and quickly. After all, that was part of the service I paid to receive when I ordered. I contacted them both to complain about the non-delivery of my purchase.

Without going into the details of the various communications that ensured, via email, phone and social media, the delivery company, while slow to respond, forwarded my complaint on to the local depot for action. The online retailer, after a false start, escalated my complaint to the delivery company on my behalf. I had to collect my parcel from the depot myself but I have it now.

While this is a personal anecdote, it illustrates the importance of choosing the right delivery partner for your business. In this case, despite the fact that the online retailer supported my complaint, I’m unlikely to buy from them again. Why? Because:

  1. I had to go out of my way to collect my parcel from the depot which removed the convenience of buying from the online retailer (the product I bought is available in most retail pharmacies);
  2. The online retailer chooses to use delivery partner that only makes one attempt to deliver a parcel which increases the likelihood that I may have to go to the depot to pick up my purchase; and
  3. The delivery company’s Facebook page indicated that other customers are experiencing the same problem that I had, which reduces my trust that the product will be delivered to my door.

At QPS Importers, we choose delivery partners who give our customers the option of rescheduling their delivery if they aren’t there to accept it on the first attempt or of coming to the depot to collect it themselves. We believe that’s a better service for all concerned. What do you think?


I love my Karcher!

karcher pressure cleaner

Graham and I are moving warehouse because our current warehouse is covered in dust. We really like our lovely next door neighbour. Unfortunately, his successful kitchen cabinet business generates a fine dust, which seeps in through the gap at the top of our shared wall and settles all over our warehouse.

Over the weekend we were in Sydney, cleaning products that we’re clearing out of the warehouse. Our trusty Karcher pressure cleaner was extremely useful for getting the dust off outdoor furniture items that were being sent off to public auction this Sunday. I wish I’d taken some before and after photos, to show you what a difference it made. The ex-display and sample furniture looked as good as it did when it first arrived in the warehouse. A quick rub over with a clean cloth and a couple of hours to dry in the sun, and it was ready to go to auction.

One of the workers at the factory next door came over to me during the afternoon, asking for advice on cleaning PVC rattan furniture. He had been watching during the afternoon, and wanted to know if he could clean his Mum’s furniture the same way. I had to laugh inwardly when he wanted to know if he could clean the cushions the same way.

If you’re thinking of getting yourself a Karcher, I highly recommend it. We bought ours from Bunnings a couple of years ago and we are very happy with it. If you’d like to see what we’re sending to the auction this Sunday, here’s a link to the final list, complete with photos.

Origins of Dragon Boat Festival a tragic tale

It’s pretty quiet this week, at QPS Importers, at least on the talking-to-people-in-China front. That’s because the people we deal with on a daily basis are on holiday, celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival.

Of course, it’s a good time for us to work on our marketing or administration tasks, but it does make a difference to our day.

I found this article on the China Daily website, that explains the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival. What do you think of it? When I compare our 200+ years of Autralian history with thousands of years of Chinese history, I am in awe.