Customer orientation and customer service have always been important in marketing. The pandemic has made it even more so and probably harder to deliver. Different companies have different levels and philosophies of service that determine satisfaction or dissatisfaction. I will share my experience with three companies with different approaches to offer this critical component in their marketing efforts.
Well, we enjoy our coffee! In our collection are about 5-6 different coffee makers, from perked to espresso! We have been getting our coffee beans from an outfit in Florida. We settled on their French Roast and periodically ordered 5 lb bags of it. It came in a breathing bag that made storing easier. As we need coffee, we would grind small amounts and have fresh coffee most of the time.
The pandemic made shopping more difficult and selling even more so. The pandemic has affected small local merchants, from restaurants to coffee houses. Thinking of this difficulty, we decided to keep our business in Rhode Island. We had coffee from Coffee Exchange before and enjoyed it and decided to give our small but steady business to them.
On their Web site, they offered single origin as well as blended coffee options. Not knowing where to start, I sent an e-mail to the company, which they quickly answered. I asked for their recommendations and if I could buy smaller quantities to try. After a couple of e-mail exchanges, we settled on his recommended four options and that I would call and place an order with their staff so that they could make smaller bags for us.
This morning, I called Coffee Exchange and quickly ordered four different coffee beans, and paid for them on the phone. Later in the afternoon, we took a ride to Wickenden St. in Providence to pick up the order. Karma came with us and enjoyed walking in a new territory, doing his DNA analyses on the fly with quick sniffs! When we arrived at the window, I gave my name, and the bags of coffees came out the other, bigger window.
This is excellent customer service. They genuinely tried to help us in choosing a coffee blend or two to satisfy our needs. And, in return, we will give our business to Coffee Exchange. It will cost a few dollars more, but it will stay in the state and go to a company where customer service is important. Thank you!
We have been purchasing Karma’s dog food from Chewy because our local stores do not carry the food recommended by our trusted vet. The initial order required a prescription from the vet, but after that, it was very smooth. The delivery would arrive within 2-4 days from placing the order, even in the days of Covid-19.
I placed an order towards the end of last week. Within half a day or so, I received a notice that the order was shipped. Nothing surprising. Until I received another message a day or so later, telling me that the shipment was delayed, with no further information. The next day, I believe it was Saturday, I called their customer service. The person on the phone was pleasant and checked into the order. After about 30 seconds or so, she said she did not know the reason for the delay and said she would immediately ship the same things once more. I asked how I could return one order should I receive both. She said she would try to reroute the first package back to the warehouse. But, if that did not work, I should keep them both. This is good customer service, not because she offered me to keep both orders, but because she immediately shipped a new package without worrying about the first one.
I sure hope she can divert the first package to their warehouse. If we receive both packages I will call and offer to pay for them all. Fair is fair. Would I continue shopping at Chewy? Of course, I will! And, I would heartily recommend them for your pet’s needs. Whenever I call them with any question, they quickly and accurately answer them to my satisfaction. The shipment arrived on Tuesday before noon time! Very good service. Karma is happy too!
We enjoy our coffee, some in the morning, followed by a cup or so in the afternoon. In the morning, we generally have brewed coffee and the afternoon cups are typically single-cup Keurig pods.
Sometime last year, I stumbled on Angelino’s Coffee, which produces freshly packed Keurig pods shipped to you directly. I started getting their coffee, and we enjoyed the taste. However, on more than one occasion, they were late in delivery. They told me that UPS was slow during the pandemic. The quickest I received a shipment was seven days, and it went up to 8-9 days on several occasions.
I traced the last order on their site, and it showed as shipped. But I could not track it. I sent a message from the Web site inquiring about the delay after a week from the order. The e-mail reply said the UPS had not picked up the packages and that I should be patient. Since UPS had not yet picked it up, I asked to cancel the order. Then, I went ahead and got the pods locally. A follow-up message told me that they could not cancel the order, and I should wait to receive the coffee. I inquired whether I could return the package, and they rejected that request too!
At that point, I requested a cancellation of my account and the deletion of all my information. I added that I would appreciate a confirmation message. No reply, not even today! I could not log in to my account, they deactivated it, but I am not sure if they deleted all the information. Also, they did not have the courtesy of notifying me. Be it! The package arrived 14 days after I placed the order.
I am not satisfied with the delivery or the service provided. Would I recommend Angelino’s Coffee to anyone? No, I will not. They failed me in delivery and customer service. Avoid!
We are living through hard times for all. Some tolerance for slipping performance is certainly a noble idea. At the same time, we also need to recognize the difficulties the small businesses are going through. Many of them have their doors closed, at least to indoor traffic. We should try to support our local merchants and businesses when possible. If we need to order things online, and who doesn’t, we should reward those merchants who try to serve our needs. Tolerance is not expected only from the customers, we expect some tolerance and service from the sellers as well.
PS For those who may be wondering, I taught marketing for over 40 years.