Hiding behind Covid as an excuse for poor customer service is never going to work. Just recently we bought 6 cases of wine. Absolutely nothing unusual about that – it’s a regular occurrence chez Sherman. We’re a thirsty lot, and dehydration, we’re told, is a dangerous thing. Especially for the elderly. So when one of our top tipples was on offer at a local supermarket, and they tossed in an extra 25% off 6 bottles or more, it was a no-brainer.
Two days later, our wine arrived. Now, here’s a question for you. If you order 6 cases of wine, are you being unreasonable in expecting it to arrive in 6 cardboard boxes? I don’t think so. But Tesco do. Well, to be fair, their staff don’t. But the bosses at Tesco do.
The poor old Tesco delivery driver who carried in 36 separate bottles thought it was absolutely barmy. The customer service lady I spoke to, thought it was bonkers as well. Even the local store manager agreed. It’s completely potty. So why do they do it? I’ll tell you what they told me – because it’s Head Office policy. Yes, wine is delivered to the Branches and put out on shelves. At this point the boxes are thrown away. When an online order is received, somebody goes onto the floor, finds the wine and if they don’t have any boxes… well you know the rest.
Recently poor customer service has become so frequent, I now keep a list of CEOs on file. I contacted Tesco Head Office and spoke to one of the top bananas. Even he admitted, the system wasn’t ideal. And then it happened…. it’s not our fault he told me … its Covid. No it isn’t. It’s poor customer service Tesco. You lot using are Covid as an excuse to stop listening to your customers. And it’s not just me who thinks so.
According to the UK Institute of Customer Service, in the past six months, the number of complaints about poor customer service is at its highest since 2009. A quarter of the 10,000 participants spoken to in their survey said organisations are using Covid as an excuse. And people are fed up with it.
“Saying it’s because of Covid is simply not good enough ” says the Institute’s Chief Executive, Jo Causon.
“Organisations really must not hide behind this blanket statement. Instead they should be working even harder to prevent complaints in the first place. Honest, genuine communication with customers is vital at all stages“
So there you are Tesco, its official – using Covid as an excuse to stop listening to your staff and ignoring your customers is never going to work. Feedback from customers and staff is the lifeblood on which every organisation depends. Even you Tesco. Because, with customer service as with so much in life – every little bit helps!
John Coleman writes about Leadership in a Covid World
Website of the UK Institute of Customer Service
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