Let me tell you a short true story about how different can be the views and assumptions of retailers and their customers, especially during Christmas season.
Last December - just after Christmas - I met for coffee and chat with a founder and shareholder of the largest online marketplace in a European country. I have known this man for many years. He was very proud of his team and stressed how well they managed the Christmas season. He also explained to me a very sophisticated system of customer care that online marketplace has, making sure that all the customers are treated quickly and efficiently; the system is so well-designed that there simply cannot be a mistake on their part, he said. He also admitted that only very few customers have unreasonable requests, and in case they do not follow recommendations and solutions, proposed by their service – they have an option to go to a court. I am convinced that he frankly believed what he was telling me.
Then, a few days later, I was interviewing a new representative for Youstice – in the very same country. We had coffee, we chatted and the guy told me about his frustration regarding online shopping during Christmas time. He mentioned that last year, he had ordered four Christmas gifts from the very marketplace I mentioned above – almost a month in advance. However, none of the gifts arrived before Christmas Day, despite several prompting calls to the service center. They did not arrive before the year's end, either. He finally received his money back – but no products he ordered -around mid-January.
This person obviously felt quite frustrated. He thought that it was not satisfactory just to get his money back if he had had to spend much more money than he originally planned on last-minute purchases for his family. Neither did he like the phone communication with the contact center - he felt treated like an item, without other right than to get his money back. He told me how he would appreciate such a simple thing as an apology, or even (good heavens!) a small compensation voucher - or at least an option to get a discount on the toys he had ordered. Instead, he was treated efficiently, but in his view unfairly. So what did he do? He posted a very negative review on the Internet and told me he would never ever buy from that marketplace again.
That is why I would like to wish the Retailers to listen more to what your customers ask for, especially during this hectic pre-Christmas time. I also would like to wish the Customers to FEEL and RECEIVE a reasonably fair treatment as a prelude to the forthcoming Christmas season. It is no rocket science, its just a common sense.
This is actually the reason why I have founded Youstice - to provide a direct communication channel between retailers and their customers so that the latter do not need to go to Facebook or other social media to cry out of frustration, but rather to resolve their issues easily with the feeling that they are being treated fairly.