Customer service is not something that you expect some of the time. Customers expect good customer service all of the time – period – full stop. Great customer service is what sets a brand apart from its competitors. Unfortunately, some companies are failing at customer service – both traditional AND social. Even more unfortunate is the specific epic #failure of Keurig Canada. Here three things we can learn from this bad experience.
For the first time I opted to buy my coffee online direct from Keurig Canada. This is not a complicated process. Create an account, select the coffee you want, check out and pay for it. Check, check, check and check. All was well up to and including the confirmation email receipt. This email stated that I would receive another email when shipped. Days passed, no email. A week passed, no email. More days passed, no email. I checked on line. What did I find out? My payment was taken, but yet there was no status on my shipment. In fact under delivery date, it said: “N/A”. I made my original order on November 30th. After approximately two weeks, I called. In total I called three times. Each time I waited on the line for close to an hour and still could not reach a human. An option was given to leave a message. I left a message with my name and telephone number and asking about delivery. No one returned my call. I emailed Customer Service as well. No one ever responded. I resorted to social media and did get a response and a call from the main location in the US. Unfortunately they were unable to help. They couldn’t see my order because I was in Canada. They were fantastic. In fact, I want to stress that when dealing with Keurig in the United States, their brand representatives are among the best. I love dealing with them. Cross the border and well, that is a different story. Dealing with Keurig in Canada is painful at best and enough to make you rethink your coffee machine purchase. Keurig Canada’s customer service is a failure.
So, how can your business excel at customer service – both traditional and social? Here are 3 lessons learned from Keurig Canada’s epic #fail:
1. Understand the Brand You Represent
It is incumbent on all organizations to ensure that all employees, and particularly customer-facing employees, know and understand your brand – the brand values, voice and how to actually live the brand. If you are going to outsource parts of your operation, this is even more important. It only takes one person to hurt your brand and reputation.
Keurig Canada failed to understand the brand. Their website states the following: “Keurig” is derived from the Dutch word for excellence, which is our standard for everything, from our patented brewing technology to our gourmet brands of beverages and our customer service.”
Keurig Canada if you believe that not returning phone calls and/or email which you specifically point your customers to as a communication channel is “being excellent,” I beg to differ. This is NOT excellence. Failing to keep your customer informed is a fail.
2. Staff Your Customer Channels
There is no question that certain times of the year more busy than others. The business cycle should not come as a surprise. Staff for it. Keurig in the US was able to answer and respond to calls. Their population base is larger. They have more customers. They were staffed appropriately. Jump on a plane and get schooled by the Keurig experts at your head office. Please!
3. Rethink Your Processes and Actually Make Changes
Clearly there was an issue and Keurig Canada realized it. I received notification that there was an issue with unusually high volumes and therefore they were offering a free box to make up for it. Good on them, sorta! This is an opportunity for a second chance. Unfortunately, they have failed yet again. Not only did they require that you make a minimum purchase, it has now been a week since my last order. Guess what? For days there was no information. My delivery date said: N/A. I checked today and my order apparently shipped yesterday. I have not received the verification email that they promise. So, the question is: has it really shipped? I could call or email, but based on my previous experience, I will pass.
What’s Your Experience?
These three items are three easy fixes. If you value your customers, establish processes to avoid these missteps. The next step is mine. Will I continue to be a Keurig user? Or, will I sell my machine and go another route? I am not certain just yet, but I can tell you that I am seriously evaluating next steps.
So, what is your customer service experience with Keurig? Would you choose another coffee system? I would love to hear your thoughts.