Four ways to make customer service terrible

I have had experience this week of great and terrible customer service. The great service was from Highland Park distillery in Orkney. A year ago I bought a coat from them when we were visiting, but it is only this winter that I have started using it. The zip broke on the third time I wore it. I expected a protracted discussion about it being a long time ago, that I would have to return to Orkney, and that the zip could be fixed. Instead they immediately said they would send me a new coat and just asked I give the old one to a local charity shop.

By contrast I have been trying to chase what has happened to my passport. It has had a visa added and has been sent back to me with a delivery firm called DX. It has been an awful experience. I think there are four key reasons.

  1. Automation is great – when it works. I was sent a WhatsApp saying the package was to be delivered on 25th. That was not suitable but with a few clicks I was easily able to rearrange for 29th. Great. Except on 29th nothing arrived.
  2. Webchat is great – when it works. In many ways I prefer webchat to voice calls. I can do other things at the same time, and I usually get a written record of the conversation which can be useful. But DX obviously do not have enough agents because the webchat always goes to “we are sorry but there are no advisers available”.
  3. Phone calls are great – when they work. The website says “use the numbers below to speak to a customer service representative about one of our services”. But when you ring the number you just get an automated system for rearranging deliveries. There is no way to talk to a person, and the system refers you back to webchat.
  4. Complaint support is great – when it works. I have filled in a form with all my details, but no-one ever responds to it.

I am a big fan of automation and robotics. They take out cost and often make life easier for customers. But there should always be a way to deal with exceptions, and a way to talk to a real person. Just like my new friend at Highland Park.

3 thoughts on “Four ways to make customer service terrible

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  1. Just landed back from India after 3 weeks, they are looking forward to seeing you.

    4 of us went and 3 experienced DX with our visas. All had at least one failed delivery that was never attempted. Mike stuck with the webchat and after 6 goes it succeeded. Clearly cheap and cheerful wins the day for visas

      1. No where special, but had some lovely meals at colleagues houses. So generous with their time.
        Did a lot more shopping this time too.
        Mike and Duncan are going Feb/Mar

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