How FTD just lost $65 and a customer

First lesson: Capture a screenshot whenever you have a sketchy “customer service” experience online.

Second lesson: As a business owner, never let any of your employees do this to a potential customer.

The story: A few days ago, I decided to send an older family member some flowers for her birthday. The branding message in my head said to go to FTD.com because they specialize in flower delivery. It’s been a while since I’ve ordered flowers, though, so I was a little confused when most of the selections were going to be delivered “in a gift box” via UPS.

The image in my head of flower deliveries is and always has been of a person actually carrying the beautiful vase overflowing with just the right arrangement to the door of a very surprised recipient. I never envisioned a UPS truck pulling up, honking, dropping off the box, and driving off.

So, I decided to inquire about the situation. I noticed a handy “chat” box in the corner. When I clicked on it, the instructions said to enter my question and an agent would be right with me. I entered “I have a question about delivery.” The response came fairly quickly.

The response was … wait for it …

Yes

Seriously, that was the “customer service” representative’s response to my question.

Yes

No punctuation. No addition of “Yes, of course. I can help you with that.”

Naturally, I had to ask her (given what I do) if that was the way she was trained to respond to a customer. Her response then was the expected scripted answer that I should have received at the beginning. We went back and forth a couple of times with me stating my shock at such rude responses and her continuing to give me her script, basically ignoring my comments.

Finally, I said I would rather do business with another company that knows how to communicate with its customers. Her response to that? Wait for it …

A three-question customer survey:

How you were greeted by our customer support agent

Our response time

The quality of answers provided

There was no apology. There were no parting words, not even the scripted kind, from the representative. Just the survey that popped up in the corner of the chat box.

Anyone want to guess how I rated the “customer support” agent? How often do you think I will use this company in the future?

That $65 probably doesn’t matter much to such a big company, but they lost a potential customer and they inspired that potential customer to spread the word about their “customer service.”

So, how well are you communicating with your customers?

 

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