Actually two! Russ Monroe and Ike Newingham are both getting a free copy of Going Social by Terrace Crawford from me. The book actually has a great story of a customer support interaction Terrace had that turned out well.
You have to go back and read my last post for this one to make sense. I got a reply from my new friend Mahesh at Google. Here is an excerpt:
Thank you for your valuable feedback. I understand your frustration and I apologize for the inconvenience caused.
Orders are shipped based on the estimate in your order confirmation email. Once an order has been processed you’ll receive a second ship confirmation email, after which it will take an additional two business days for your order to be delivered.
I’ve reviewed the status of your order and see that your order is processed and a tracking number is generated. Your UPS tracking no is 1Z7F382V0205225927. Please allow up to 24 hours for the tracking details to be updated on their website. You can track your UPS delivery here.
Once again, I thank you for your patience and understanding while we are trying to complete the shipment of all our valued Customers.
I like his lead. At least he apologizes. (Note: Apology goes a lot further than a statement of policy!) Then the confusion begins. He states Orders are shipped based on the estimate in your order confirmation email. What does that mean?!? I would think orders would be shipped when the product is ready to ship. Then the part I really love. He assures that I will get a second email from UPS, but it may come 24 hours late! So, my package just might arrive before I get an answer to my original question, which was: When will I get my package? I guess the answer is: You will get your package sometime before you get a notice saying you will get you package sometime soon.
Maybe the backup was caused by their attempt to “complete shipment of all of their valued customers” (perhaps he means “to all of our valued customers”). I am sure that at this point Mahesh would like to ship customers like me somewhere!
I don’t really have any brilliant insight at this point. But I do give Mahesh credit for apologizing and trying to explain what is going on. The take away is: When you are wrong, apologize!
I ordered an item on line (before Cyber Monday) that they claimed would be shipped within 2 days, and I paid for 2 day shipping. By my astute calculations that adds up to 4 days. Well, of course it has been more than 4 days. So, I sent an inquiry and received this brilliant response:
Thank you for contacting us. I understand that you want to know the status of your order.
I would like to inform you that, we are taking orders based on available inventory and are quoting time frames based on when your order will ship. Also, I will only know the scheduled delivery date, when you receive an email notification that your order has shipped.
If there is anything further we can assist you with, please feel free to reply directly to this email or visit our help center here.
The Google Play Support Team
So many thoughts are circling around in my head. Like:
- Your company claimed it was in stock
- Your company made a promise that it couldn’t keep
- Your response makes absolutely no sense
- Your response doesn’t answer my problem
- I won’t need you to tell me the shipping delivery date after I have received that email from the shipping company – because that email will tell me the delivery date
- My real problem is that there is obviously a delay in getting the product to the shipping company, but your company has not communicated that to me.
In conclusion, Google is making a big play to compete in the hardware world. They’ve got a decent product at a decent price. The problem seems to be, this whole delivering products thing is new to them and they got caught unprepared for their first big holiday shipping crunch. Their target is to take on Apple in the hardware (and software) world. What they didn’t seem to get is that in the process, they are also up against Amazon in the shipping world. The table stakes are pretty high here. Amazon does an amazing job of getting stuff to our doors.
Then, of course, I make the big transition to the church world (you knew it was coming). We’ve got a great “product” but like Google, we are lagging way behind in “delivery”. To “compete” in today’s world we need to make sure our delivery system is great. (Most churches are still printing brochures in a digital/social media/connected world.)
There’s so much I could say about this. But let me at least offer a few suggestions:
- Let’s not make Google’s mistake and promise something we can’t deliver. How many churches claim in their mission statement to have a “heart for the city”, yet don’t spend $1 or one ounce of energy on changing the city?
- Let’s stop bickering over minor theological points and focus on getting the simple message of the gospel into the heads of the people who need it.
- Let’s focus on “customer service” that is focused on the needs of the “customer” and not on the policies of the company. Interpretation: let’s focus more on the needs of the people we are trying to reach than on the needs of our church.
- And finally, go buy and read “Going Social” by my friend Terrace Crawford. It will help you to think differently about our “delivery system”.
In fact, I’ll give a free copy of this book to the first person who responds to this post with a comment.