SMS Sales Training Multiplies Sales

Customer Disservice

It really just amazes me the absolute rubbish that businesses have put forward as customer services, especially during and after Covid in the UK.

I set about looking for rewarding my loyal staff and usually go to the high end prestige emporiums to obtain a reasonable generous and useful gift.

This time, I approached a well known retailer off Piccadilly for a not-unsubstantial order for a number of those people who without which, I could not possibly run my business. Those that know me are aware of the gifts, although I try to be suitably humble about them.

In these times of worry and stress about the cost of living, I know that they are likely to be welcomed and enjoyed by all in the household.

That was the start of two days of struggle to spend a considerable amount of money. Nobody wants to make sales! 


Admittedly I am not running a Virgin Atlantic, or a Barclay’s Bank, but our contribution to the UK economy and the sales of these prestigious brands will make a difference when they lose not only this sale, but the many years of lost revenue in the future. I calculated well over £30K in the next ten years.

I tried to order the packages online, using the website I had previously used and selected the level of cost I was comfortable with. Suitable levels of gift were correspondent to those who had contributed. I arranged the delivery day, input a suitably short but genuine message, and went to checkout. “Processing your order” flashed before me for about 20 minutes and then the screen went back to the checkout.

Ok, so was the payment taken? Was the order made but in limbo until payment is made? What status is the order? Do I have to start again?

I used the “chat to our agent” option and filled out the basic info – email, name, phone number and waited for the “agent” to connect, which took about a minute. The transcript follows but I have changed the agent’s name, as it is not her fault, it is the company.
I started off by explaining;

(11:28:04 AM) Lee: Has order been processed – page hung on payment and then cleared – no message or email received
(11:28:10 AM) *** Cust Serv Agent joined the chat ***
(11:28:15 AM) Cust Serv Agent: Thank you for contacting [name of co]. My name is ‘Cust Serv Agent’.
(11:28:56 AM) Cust Serv Agent: Good Morning Lee
(11:29:32 AM) Cust Serv Agent: Please can you confirm if the items are still in your basket – usually if an order has gone through, they will no longer be in the basket
(11:29:47 AM) Cust Serv Agent: You would also receive an email order confirmation
(11:30:36 AM) Lee: I have received nothing, that’s why I am querying it. I went back to the basket and when I moved the delivery date to the original delivery date I had input, I got a warning – I pasted the warning on the webpage (as if the order had been placed).
(11:30:44 AM) Lee: Please check the delivery option and date selected below. These can sometimes be affected if there is a change in the order or delivery address.
(11:31:10 AM) Lee: So has the order been paid for and is OK, or do I have to edit it all again and make payment again?
(11:32:19 AM) Cust Serv Agent: Thank you Lee. Please can you confirm the email address you would have used when trying to place the order?
(11:32:57 AM) Lee: Strangely enough, the same one I put in the chatbot –
(11:33:15 AM) Cust Serv Agent: If you can give me a moment, I’ll just check that for you.
(11:33:25 AM) Lee: thank you
(11:34:26 AM) Cust Serv Agent: I don’t see an order placed today on your account, but I can check our payment system to make sure
(11:34:35 AM) Lee: please do
(11:35:04 AM) Cust Serv Agent: In order to do this, we will need the following information:

– the type of card used (VISA, Mastercard or AMEX)
– the last four digits
– the expiry
– the amount charged
– the approximate time/date you placed your order
– your email address

Thank you
(11:36:15 AM) Lee: really? You can’t check my account in the system? This is pretty poor. Perhaps I will take my order to M&S

I answered her questions but my email address again?

Eventually I got an “Unfortunately the order has not gone through successfully and your payment will be cancelled. We would advise re-placing the order” AND THEN “Our customer services team would be happy to assist you in placing your order over the phone.” Really? Dictate all the names, addresses, phone numbers and individual messages over the phone because I have nothing better to do for an hour?

After 30 mins of getting nowhere fast, because she had no access to my online account and trolley, no way to check the order and unreasonable questions to check out the payment system somewhere, I left and made my way to a well known Knightsbridge store for their luxury items.

In the meantime I get a note from customer services saying that it could take up to 72 hours to respond. 72 Hours?

On settling down to the new firm’s website, registering and selecting my items I went to checkout and found that all the items would be delivered to one address only. Really? I will email Customer Services. I emailed and explained that there were multiple delivery locations. My acknowledgement came in the form of “Thank you for your email. 
The reference number for your recent contact is 123456. {Firm Name} aims to respond within 48 hours. Please quote this reference number in any future correspondence with us. If you have any additional comments, please reply to this email.” Customer Service – 48 Hours?

Customer Disservice!

Today I went to an online luxury store for my items and bingo. I had a great buying journey with a fully functional website accepting multiple orders for the same item as well as other, adding a message, selecting where each package was to go, and when. I actually got more items contained in each package, all of luxury level quality, and saved myself money in the bargain. I will actually be donating that money and more to charity again this year to help the homeless (Crisis) and those struggling through the Salvation Army.

It doesn’t take much to run an effective process and with technology today, you can get into any part of the process and identify issues. But, no matter what tech you may use, it is useless if you don’t have the procedures, access and trained staff to operate it. Come on companies get a grip, get us to come in and revamp your sales machine to at least double your sales.

This may seem like a rant, and in many ways I guess it is. However, using Covid as an excuse for not having things joined up after two and a half years is a sad indictment on the way you view your customers. It’s the same as staff, if you treat them like mushrooms (keeping them in the dark and feeding them horse….) and bringing them out at your convenience, guess what. They move on.

Both these companies who have not thought through their entire customer journey have lost money today and in the future. If I had been buying one item for delivery to one address, I think it would have been totally different.

Come on! Let’s make Britain Great again. Stop treating everyone like an inconvenience and actually help people buy from you. If the company doesn’t make enough sales, they get rid of people. That could be you. Effectively due to lack of engagement and foresight, as well as an apathetic attitude, you can make yourself redundant.

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