I recently had an extremely bitter customer experience with a food chain which delivers food at home which got me thinking about this post.

About the Company

As a long term patron of 5 years, I loved ordering at this place because the value proposition was reasonably hot food served in less than 30 minutes. In case for the longest time, they had a 20 minute guarantee.

The franchisee and store manager / landline no was part of the order description so it was also easy to follow-up in the rare cases the food was delayed.

Venture Funding & Mobile App Centric Change

The firm raised Series A and Series B funding and naturally as all companies changing growth did, looked for new revenue streams and streamlined customer experience.

  • Expanded the menu to include breakfast menus, rice items and desserts. So the service guarantee was diluted from 20 minutes to 40 minutes
  • Moved to a centralized call centre and remove any references to store managers / local point of contact.
  • Twitter Handles and in-app chat support who are ideally supposed to help customers but have one scripted line “We are investigating what went wrong and will get in touch with you ASAP

Opportunities missed to recover from a bad customer experience

  • I got my order delivered almost 1 hour and 25 mins later after I followed up on the chat, twitter and hung-up on the call centre after been hold for 5 mins 
  • Every channel I contacted  I was promised to be attended ASAP 

Coup de Grâce

After 24 hours after this incident, I wrote an long winding email declaring my love for the brand and my concerns to the suggestions contact id, hoping for someone to talk to me and recover the situation.

The canned response “We are investigating what went wrong and will get in touch with you ASAP” and for more than 48 hours no response.

Lessons Learnt 

  • Needless to say I have deleted that app from my mobile and do not intend to give business just on principle
  • Growth is key for an organization but a drastic change in your core value proposition is dangerous
  • Multi-Channel presence is meaningless if you do not have real humans / empowered customer service professionals who can make a difference to retrieve the situation.
About Ganesh Jayaraman

Ganesh Jayaraman is Senior Consultant at Feedback Business Consulting Pvt Ltd. For more information on Customer Satisfication Improvement Programs, you can reach him at ganesh.j@feedbackconsulting.com

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