Flipkart and How Customer Care Could Be

BACKSTORY: So I placed an order on Flipkart on 19th March. By 15:29 hours on same day my order had reached Delhi from Bengaluru. This is 2019 kms according to the pretty trustworthy Google Maps. Impressive. I was confident that I’ll have my order delivered in a day or maybe two at max, it’s a mere 177 kms to Roorkee from Delhi afterall. Now I’m not sure how this delivery system works but logic tells me that it is dependent on distance apart from other things like tie-ups and delivery network quality, blah blah…. There is obviously more to it than just distance, I’m sure of this atleast. Whatver it may be, I think it is safe to say that 8 days is way too much time in any case. Yes, this is what happened, it’s been nearly 10 days and I haven’t received my order yet.

Hold on there, please don’t think this is a rant. I know screw-ups happen and my history with Flipkart has always been good. So what am I getting at? It’s just that while dealing with Flipkart’s customer service (CS), I had an idea which I think can help them deal with such issues in a more customer friendly manner. I first contacted CS 5 days after I had placed the order. I was given the standard replies of “We have a commitment to fulfill… I have escalated your order… The delivery will be made in 2-3 business days” and other similar stuff. Fine, you don’t really trust your CS executives with the freedom to reply with non-standard replies but it almost felt like talking to a computer.

Make this experience more human

The second time I contacted CS was 8 days after I had placed the order. Again, I got the standard replies. Ok, now this is getting irritating, but this standard response thing is not the most irritating part either. In such a scenario Flipkart should be contacting me instead of the opposite and that too with an apology for the delay. If I had received a call on the 8th day, I would have definitely felt better about all of this mess. Instead, what happened was that I was still waiting for my order and I had to call up Flipkart CS to find out what the hell was happening!

And the best part is that this can be done! From technological point of view, as long as Flipkart is keeping a track of delivery reports, a system can be created which checks for

  1. Delayed deliveries
  2. Initial customer complaint
  3. New expected delivery date provided to customer.

By recording first two and keeping track of the the third one, a system can be created where if delivery is not made even by the new date, an apologetic mail can be sent out informing the customer that they are aware of the situation and are trying to fix it. My estimate is that out of 5 atleast 2 customers will not hold a grudge against flipkart after this. And the other 3 will atleast still have some faith in Flipkart. (no scientific data to back this, just gut feeling and experience)

I posted about this delay on twitter and got a call from a Flipkart CS executive who actually seemed human and promised to get back to me by tonight with the latest updates. Due to their concern for their brand on social networks, Flipkart seems to take such cases more seriously than emails and calls since they are not public. It is understandable but also makes you wonder if it is worth it anymore to mail/call them when you can just tweet about it and get a better response (hopefully)

Some boring lines about the writer:

Interested in products and UX. Knows a bit of PHP, JS, Node. Prefers JS. HN addict. Watches football, plays squash. ManUtd & Spain \m/. Tinkers with arduino sometimes.

Will code for food, MacBook, fast internet, noise cancelling headphones, a comfortable chair and desk. Pretty basic needs. Truly.

Follow him on twitter. He doesn't tweet a lot. Bummer, right?