Monday, 23 March 2009


Yesterday was Mothers Day (In the UK, don't panic if you are in the US). I ordered my mother some flowers from Interflora. As usual they were priced at a premium because it is a special day and a Sunday as well. No flowers are delivered, and my mother is obviously upset.

So I complain to Interflora and they respond with an automatic refund by email. But that is it. No promise to investigate why the flowers weren't delivered, no assurance it won't happen again, no recognition that they let me down over an important event, and no recognition of the upset caused to my mother. In fact the feeling you get is this happens a lot and they just want to get rid of complaints ASAP without quibbling.

Now I guess there is nothing wrong with that, you could even say they have done more than they had to, but somehow it isn't going to make me order flowers from them again.

I wonder how often we treat customers like that in the IT world?

I would like to think we wouldn't, but I suspect we do. We apologise, take the hit on service credits and expect the customer to forget it ever happened, rather than realising that in the customer's eyes getting service credits is a sub optimal outcome compared to being convinced the contracted service will be delivered in future.

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