Friday, 10 September 2010

Customer Service...? Nettiquette...

Why is it so many companies think they can get away with poor customer service?  Normally because they have either 1) already got you money or 2) make lots of money and can afford to annoy one person.

I'm not backwards in coming forward about this.  I used to be very quiet, but I am getting very fed up with companies treating me like I am invisible. (I have posted on this before- just click the tag or search my older posts).

In this post I am focussing on emails.  Love or hate them, they are here to stay.

Perhaps the most shocking in the last year has been MANGO.  I spent over 3 figures in their store, and had a fault.  I emailed them, heard nothing back, emailed again... nothing... emailed again... nothing, and again... you get the picture?  I then sent a very angry email to them simply stating that their 'customer service was appauling, amongst the worst I had come across, and that I would be ceasing to use their services'.  I did not mention any other details in this email.  All of a sudden I recieved a personal email which went into detail about the original emails I had sent.  Effectively this means that they received all of my earlier emails, but CHOSE to ignore them  I didnt even receive a 'thank you for your email, we will reply in due course' email.  This took over 6 months to get anything out of them.

You would think that companies would lack in aftercare, but no.  Some companies lack in 'before-care'!  I'm not joking.  I emailed Miss Selfridge inquiring if a product they had 'just' sold out of, would be coming back into stock.  This is now 2 months ago.. and Miss Selfridge have not replied... I guess they don't need my money!!

I appreciate that central head offices, can get hectic, but in the case of Inglot, I received a reply a week later to say that my message had been forwarded to the appropraite department.  I havent heard anything back from this department.

The Body Shop havent been great with their emails, but at least they reply.  I have only had to prompt them once to reply.

Still leading the board is Lush.  Their customer service work hard to reply to every email.  Whatsmore, it actually comes from a person, with a name- not 'customer service team'.  this makes it very easy to reply to if needed.

Customer Nettiquette!

1) Set an auto reply to every message received, THANKING the customer for their email and advising of a reply time.  This will confirm to the customer that you have received thir email
2) If possible, reply to the query within 24-48 hours. 7 days AT THE MOST.  DO NOT make the customer chase up their reply!
3) If you are unable to supply an item, please feel free to sugest an alternative.  This is very helpful, and shows the customer that you have some knowledge of the company you work for.
4) In the case of larger companies like Ebay, Paypal, banks- READ THE CUSTOMERS EMAIL! Sounds silly but I have lost count of the number of times I have constructed a well thought out message, only to receive a stock template answer that has nothing to do with my query!!  I then have to reconstruct the email and resend it- with implicit instructions NOT to send a stock reply.
5) If the customer is complaining, ask them how you could improve your service.  Show that you are willing to improve.

As customers we must;
1) Keep our emails short and to the point.
2) Keep a copy of your email if possible.
3) Not waste the companies time.

Just think of it this way, if the customer sent you a letter, you would have to reply within several days.  Why is an email any different?  Customers, if you sent a letter, would you compose it the same way as an email?  Would you take the time to write a letter and send it?

What are your experiences of customer service emails?  Are there any points you would add to the Nettiquette list?


  1. Some compaines are awful with customer service but i never normally bothering with emails.....I usually phone and once youe got someone they have to talk to you! x

  2. Customer service is so bad. That's if you get to talk to someone and not a computer.

  3. i haven't had any bad experiences (touch wood) but the most impressive i have found is elf. When i got send a couple of wrong products in an order i got a reply to my email within 24 hours and the correct products were sent to me withing a couple of days, why can't all companies be like this?

  4. i had a bloody crackpot at the Lancome stand in my local Boots (see my blog for actual lol's on the actual issue), i emailed Boots and Lacome.

    Lancome have never replied.

    Boots have been fantastic, fast in their email replies and forwarding it on to the actual store manager who then phoned up to apologise directly to me. Kudos to Boots!


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