Great service starts with giving a sh!t. Really.

person taking photo of grey cat standing on wooden fence during daytime

Recently, I had a problem with a package being delivered by FedEx. I ordered something that I needed for a client meeting and was given a delivery date seven days from the order. That was going to be perfect.

The day before the scheduled delivery date, I received a text from FedEx announcing that I would get my package on time. Then, the morning it was scheduled to arrive, the status changed to pending. When I looked at the route, the package was in Indianapolis. I live in Baltimore, a pretty good way from Indianapolis.

Well, I still had over a week before I needed the item. Surely, I would get it in a couple of days. Not!

Another week went by and the FedEx tracking tool said the item had arrived in West Virginia and I would see it in 2 days. Two days came and went and I was really getting testy. Now I needed the item in question in a little over a day.

So, I called FedEx, and after waiting for a protracted period, spoke to a young man who could tell me nothing other than what the tracking tool could tell me. When I asked to speak with someone else, he told me to hold on. He came back and apologized with no more news. He told me I needed to call back later as there would likely be more details. I asked what he would do in the meantime. What did I hear? Crickets. Nothing. Nada. When he did finally speak up, he just apologized again. I hung up in a furor.

So, what’s the lesson? If your company screws up, even if there is really nothing you can do, at least act like you care and say you will do something. If this young man had said he would red flag this issue, talk to a supervisor, and have them call me, I would have been placated for a time, but his “do nothing” attitude and seeming inability to do anything at all was infuriating.

Customer perceptions matter. When things go wrong, let customers know what you can do. At minimum, appear as if you care and say you will do something, even if it’s miniscule, it is something.  

Oh, and think twice before FedExing a package.

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