I know what UPS can do – as stated in their tagline, “What can Brown do for you?” They can certainly deliver my parcel as promised, particularly if I paid a premium guarantee. And, in the case of FedEx, who once suggested (in an early campaign, 1978 – 1983), “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”, but now demurs with “We understand” or “Your world – on time”, I would still like my packages delivered as promised. Fulfillment not met. For shame!
So, now we see a damage control mode. Apologies have been issued, fingers pointed at the weather, a shortened Christmas season buying period, greater usage by on-line purchasing. I see, but you promised.
The Brands have been compromised. I mean, closed for business with guarantees in abeyance? We can appreciate the issues but not the excuses. Lord, we hear this enough when the apple carts are upended daily. Personally, I think they just did not want to pay Holiday overtime to have those trucks rolling all day on the 25th.
As noted by Fox News, “Neither company said how many packages were delayed but noted it was a small share of overall holiday shipments. FedEx spokeswoman Parul Bajaj said in a statement Thursday. "Every single package is important to us, and we will continue to work directly with customers to address any isolated incidents." I am not sure this is so isolated or minimal. Natalie Godwin, a spokeswoman for United Parcel Service Inc., said the volume of packages shipped exceeded the capacity of UPS but would not share the number of packages shipped or what the company's maximum capacity is. At least one major user of these vendors, Amazon, had an immediate and reasonable response. Amazon.com has been notifying some customers affected by the UPS delays that it will refund any shipping charges and is giving them a $20 credit toward a future purchase. Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said the company processed orders and got them to its shippers "on time for holiday delivery" and is now "reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers." Those future Amazon “Delivery Drones” are looking better and better.
I would be far more understanding had UPS and FedEx tried deliveries on Christmas Day. They certainly would have had sufficient volunteers to drive the trucks. But, they decided to save money and revert back to well-used excuses. As consumers we know how it feels to be told by a waiter that this was not his station or that someone was on break, or that we’ll get back to you. That is not how you create confidence or loyalty.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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