Let’s face it. A business no matter how much it wants to be a one stop shop, cannot do everything. This is why supply chain management is a multi million dollar business. As a business you need to realize that even if you have done your part of the process, inadequate suppliers can let you down.
From a consumer’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if the supplier is at fault, they will hold you responsible for choosing an inadequate supplier, which will tarnish your brand reputation. This is particularly important if you promise or guarantee things which are outside your level of control.
Take in part my recent experience with a dressing gown supplier in Sydney. My partner and I ordered a dressing gown from this supplier in early December, it was ready to be couriered to my postal address in Melbourne on Thursday 8 December, it now Friday 16 December and the parcel is yet to arrive. The supplier told me that the item normally takes 2-3 business days to arrive in Melbourne.
Despite providing a tracking code, there are minimal ways to contact the courier company known as Fastway Couriers and when I have submitted an online inquiry and an email about the lost item, I am yet to hear back. But what makes matters worse is the fact that none of their phone lines in their Melbourne or Sydney offices appear to be working. Since, Wednesday 14 December, every time I ring their phone number, it is engaged. Yes, you heard right, the phone is engaged, there is no phone system allowing one to leave a message or even a ring tone!
So what did I have to do to get a response? Social media that’s what! As we mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald article titled ‘Are you being served?’ we discussed how social media is a much ‘more powerful tool for consumer protection’.
As a result, if a business does not utilize effective complaint handling techniques online, there is no doubt that the business will not thrive in the 21st century.
So if you are a business that relies on inadequate suppliers, do not put up with it. Instead put them on notice, and notify them if they do not improve, that their services will not be used in the future.
I can tell you now that there are many other suppliers out there who would be bidding for your business. So put your hand out there and don’t settle for second best!
Ps. As of 1.24pm, the matter with Fastway Couriers is still being rectified. In the fairness of positioning a business correctly, this post will be updated with the outcome (when known), including a review of their social media complaint resolution techniques.
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.