In the interest of convenience, I recently tried to find a dog food delivery service. All I need is a service that carries all of the products I need & want for my dog, and that will automatically deliver them to my home on a regular basis.
Through a web search, I found a company that seemed perfect. They carried the right food brands, treats and sundries for my four-legged boy, Toby, and they delivered to Kent. Before I placed my order I had a lot of questions about things that were unclear or not addressed on their website. (In this day and age, this is really not OK.) When I sent an email with my questions, I did receive a fairly timely reply (less than 48 hours) and so I placed my first order.
Confirmation that I had paid for the dog food came within an hour. The ‘Sender’ information said ‘Info’ so I didn’t recognise it at first, but I didn’t think much of that at the time. My order was delivered as expected and I was quite pleased.
Not so 13 days later when I realised my next delivery was due soon and I had never had confirmation of my original order, much less confirmation of my next order. In fact, I had received absolutely nothing from Dog Food Deliver Co. (not their real name) except my dog’s food and treats. There had been no paperwork with my original order: no receipt, no brochure with their name on it, no business card with their phone number. I also had not received any email asking if I was happy with my order, or providing information about placing another order. NOTHING.
Was my first order automatically turned into a standing order? I didn’t remember seeing an option to choose ‘standing order’ so I thought probably it wasn’t. Which meant I was not going to get more dog food the next day.
I could not remember the name of the company (because they had not made themselves visible to me in any way since my first order was placed!) so I began scrolling through my Inbox looking for something helpful in the ‘Sender’ column. (Remember that ‘Info’ in the Sender field?) I found nothing. Then I started searching in my Inbox: dog food, raw food, dog food delivery…each brought no results. Eventually, I had to go back to Google and begin my search all over again. I did end up finding the same company. I almost wish I hadn’t.
Annoyed at how difficult it had been to re-find them, I rang Dog Food Delivery Co. to ask about the status of my next order. The man on the phone told me that they send out a text the day before the next delivery in my area. I would be receiving a text that very day reminding me to place an order. (Better hope you’re not busy working that day!) He also told me that they don’t send email confirmations with the content of your order because they aren’t necessary. Let me be clear: he said “No, we don’t (send that in an email) as they are not necessary.” He also repeated this same statement to me in the email he sent with my requested copy of my previous order.
By the time I received the email with a copy of my (“unnecessary”) order confirmation, Dog Food Delivery Co. had already lost me as a client. And I never did receive that text asking me to place an order for the next scheduled delivery date!
Luckily Toby didn’t get sick eating store-bought kibble for 3 days. That’s how long it took me to find a different company that would deliver to my home.
Can you name anything Dog Food Delivery Co. might have done differently to keep me as a client? How do you ensure your customers have a clear path back to your product/service for repeat business? How is your staff empowered to help your clients on the phone or face-to-face? Share your thoughts in the comments below.