The real cost of customer service

Great customer service is what many business owners strive for. A memorable experience from start to finish. We love it as a customer when others get it right. But when organizations get it wrong it can truly negatively impact deadlines, companies and jobs.

A hard lesson learned when I had designed some custom made signage for a client. Everything was ready to go. We sent the package to our client via UPS. The package was way too large for me to pick it up and to put it in my car to drop it off. We filled out the form and placed a call for pick up. When the driver finally arrived he told us that he wanted to use his form and he would fill it out. Trusting that the UPS, staff we let him swiftly take the package to his truck and off he went. Later that day, when we went to track the package no information was provided. We found out the package was lost after a day. I seeked out the driver and asked him regarding the 40 lb. package. He said he dropped it off at the hub the same day. Went to the hub as they searched with no success. The hub told me the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. The various hubs in different states do not speak to each other and they were in the dark. Long story short, I called seven times, faxed my claim paperwork three times with confirmation every time, the driver filled out the form incorrectly, three different UPS employees told me it will be covered, was sent the wrong hours for the hub to get a check that did not exist. Finally they did receive my fax and called to tell me they would not cover it, no exceptions. This was the worst example of customer service and poor corporate communication with the customer to take the hit.

I was shocked that the UPS manager would not take responsibility for it's personnel or the value of it's package. It cost me thousands for UPS to lose my package not to mention it caused us to miss a deadline and had to reprint of the signs we just had made. The response was oh you should not had the driver fill out the paperwork. The representative was placing blame on the customer. I was thinking, what your not willing to take accountability for the hellish experience, the run around and your poor staff performance. Now I have to pay the price, really?

The lesson learned was you can do everything right in delivering a quality product and the shipper can mess up the whole thing in a flash. I looked into if others were having the same issue with UPS. According to consumeraffairs.com the company received a one star review out of five for poor service.

This is good example of how not to handle your brand both online and offline. This customer journey was a rough one. Getting transferred from one department to another, different phone reps can not even find out the hours to a location after being placed on hold three times in just one call. To be given so much miss information between team members is a reflection of it's corporate culture of indifference.