Thursday, March 29, 2007

Customer Service - NOT

I wanted to tell you about an experience I had recently at the local UPS depot - now it's important to note this was the corporate depot not a franchise!
I had arranged to pick up a package at the depot (rather than having it delivered to our home where we wouldn't be anyway) First problem occurred when I couldn't find a place to park. There was a dedicated customer parking area but it was full. I went into the office after parking in a staff parking spot (in violation of the posted sign...) I go into the dingy little cubby and there is only one person at the counter. (Why is the parking area full?) I wait a few minutes while the person in front of me completes paying for his COD package and I help him through the door.
I speak to the 19 year old kid in the grey sweatshirt and sideways baseball cap - we discuss the parking problem, he commiserates with me, I suggest that maybe towing someone would solve their problem (mostly in jest actually). Baseball cap kid goes in the back for my package leaving the door open to the back area of the loading bay so I can see the five people lounging around, with maybe one or two actually moving packages into trucks. Then a PA announcement comes over from the manager asking employees to move their vehicles out of customer parking. So far so good - while the kid in the sweatshirt and cap looks shoddy - he's done good work, got my package quickly and talked to management about my problem. Then the kicker - the meatheads in the back yell back at the PA to "Shut Up". I'm still standing in the dingy little entry way and can see and hear all of this - I almost yelled at them - I was angry. I left the place and placed a twenty minute complaint call to the UPS 1-800 number (asked for a supervisor first.)
What a colossal customer service failure - I can't park, I'm served by a kid who looks like he should be out on his skateboard not behind a business counter, the counter itself looks like something out of the 70's. Then the rampant disrespect shown by the employees to the management.
Why on earth would I ever do business with UPS? Now they have an annoyed customer who is blogging on their's easy to think that 10+ people will read this ... a PR disaster. (The standard PR rule I was taught in school was that a happy customer tells 1 person unhappy customers tell 10)

Here's what should have happened:
1) The customer parking area should have been open to park in.
2) The kid should have been in uniform - (not that he did a bad job really)
3) The gentleman in front of me should have been helped by UPS staff out to his vehicle with his large box - easy and cheap improvement in customer experience.
4) The counter space should have been clean, modern, well painted in corporate colours with corporate logo
5) The door to the shipping area should have automatically been closed as my package was retrieved.

It's the year 2007, thousands of customer service books have been written and published in the last decade - and companies still can't get the basics right???


Photo Credit: wok

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