Poor vs Great Customer Experience

5 weeks ago I went to the City of London Dry Cleaning Co. in Canary Wharf, as I had a suit and a jacket to dry clean. It was my girlfriend’s jacket. A very nice Massimo Dutti padded jacket with knit side panels and contrasting leather details. The gentleman looked twice to the label in the jacket and said “that is fine, you can leave it with us“.

A few days later I went to pick it up and noticed that the jacket was ruined. The leader smudged to the fabric, in the pockets and collar. I showed it to the lady who immediately looked into the label and, after confirming it was ok, said “leave it with me, I will find out what happened and sort it out“. A week later she called me saying that they were still looking into it. Ok, I said, no rush.

3 weeks later I happened to be passing by, so I went in, and asked for the jacket. It was there, with a letter from the company attached, saying that the jacket was cleaned as instructed on label and therefore it was not their responsibility. I had a bit of an argument with the lady. Told her that I thought they were not being reasonable and asking her to put herself on my shoes.

The truth was she didn’t care. Nor her company, for that matter. They blamed it on Massimo Dutti. At some point she was even rude (speaking over me) and ended up turning her back on me when I said that I was a powerless and helpless customer with a ruined jacket, that was just asking them to sort out a problem that they themselves created.

So I went to Massimo Dutti in Canary Wharf, asked for the store manager and explained the situation. He could have said he was not able to help me: a) I bought the jacket in Regent Street’s store 9 months ago; b) I didn’t have the purchase receipt; c) It was obvious that it was the dry cleaning fault. Instead, with a smile in his face, he said “I will certainly help you sir“.

He read the letter (from the dry cleaner) and checked the label. I asked if he thought it was not their fault. He said: “That doesn’t matter sir. If they don’t take responsibility, I will not let a customer of ours in that situation, with a ruined jacket. I will give you a refund or you can choose another product for the same value. I just need to see a proof of purchase“.

So, after I showed him a bank statement (he didn’t demand any print outs or anything) he said we could choose another product or refund. My girlfriend chose a new (very similar) jacket, that cost exactly the same, and even bought another blouse to match the jacket (which she paid separately).

Needless to say that my girlfriend and I will not return to the City of London Dry Cleaning Co. (who just lost two customers) and were delighted with Massimo Dutti (who just earned two loyal customers and advocates).

Now, from a Customer Experience perspective, and picking up the Nunwood CX pillars, here is what City of London Dry Cleaning Co. did wrong and Massimo Dutti did right:

  • Personalisation: An individualised attention, and an effort to understand my motivations, needs and circumstances, created an emotional connection.
  • Integrity: By being trustworthy and taking responsibility, they generated trust. Individual staff actions made me like and trust the brand.
  • Expectation: CSAT = Delivery – Expectation. By exceeding my expectations the company provided a good CX and now have a satisfied customer.
  • Effort: Removing unnecessary obstacles and bureaucracy, making it quick and easy to sort out my issue, they were driving loyalty and advocacy.
  • Resolution: Apologising sincerely, acting fast and resolving my issue turned a poor experience into a great experience, recovering an unhappy and frustrated customer.
  • Empathy: Listening, understanding and putting themselves in my shoes, they created a rapport. Furthermore, they concurred, explained and went the extra mile.

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