In Singapore, Valentine’s Day is a pretty big deal. Restaurants are booked out way in advance, boxes of chocolates are stacked high in the supermarkets and florists get set to make a killing.
While the boyfriend and I don’t take the day too seriously, we like surprising each other with a little something. This year, he sent a bouquet of flowers to my office. A bouquet that never arrived. It wasn’t until he started asking about it, that I realized the work day was almost over and I hadn’t received a single call, text or communication of any sort from the florist.
Now, this isn’t some shady operation we’re talking about. This company happens to be the top local and regional florist with a bunch of fairly impressive awards to their name, and a website proclaiming their commitment to customer service. So fixing this situation should have been a piece of cake, right?
Nothing could’ve been further from the truth. Calls to their hotline ended up on an answering machine that disconnected halfway, while emails and messages sent through their online form went unanswered. Understandably, the boyfriend was not impressed and swore to give them a piece of his mind once he got hold of someone.
This went on until the next day, when we passed the florist’s headquarters on our way to lunch. Since they weren’t responding to calls and emails, we figured that they couldn’t hide from some face-to-face communication. All became clear the moment we stepped in. The staff looked up sheepishly and before we could say much, they asked if we’d come to complain about the floral no-show, and agreed meekly to a refund and re-delivery. Apparently, there’d been a flood of angry customers all day.
Problem solved? Not quite. While their offer pacified us to some extent, it also made us wonder what they would’ve done if we hadn’t confronted them. It seemed likely that they were happy to bury their heads in the sand hoping for any problems to vanish.
By adopting a passive attitude and reactive approach to customer service, this florist lost our business. Compare this to a similar incident in Malaysia, where a local florist incurred the wrath of hundreds of customers after their courier company failed to deliver the bouquets. Instead of hiding from this mistake, they promptly released a statement explaining the situation and reached out to every customer to offer a refund and upgrade to their original order.
Which company would earn your loyalty? In a world where businesses come and go, and products are seldom one-of-a-kind, the one thing that’ll set you apart from everyone else is great customer service. It’ll transform your business from mediocre to memorable.