Thursday, 18 February 2010

Waitrose must not park this issue


I was very surprised to read that a number of Waitrose customers are getting agitated about their customer service failings [see BNet.com article]

The problem stems from the fact that they have been heavily penalised for parking for longer than the permitted 2 hours.... then, when they approach Waitrose, they get a response from the customer service department saying that car parking and this grievance is outsourced to Britannia Parking.

Big mistake.

Why?

Firstly because this is not how people expect Waitrose to behalf (Waitrose were ranked 2nd on the UK Customer Service Index).

Secondly because if it continues to be handled inadequately it could get out of hand. We see time and again how this type of story can build momentum, given the infectious and potentially dangerous power of social media, and that it may well escalate dramatically if it starts to be re-tweeted on Twitter [see lessons from Dominoes].

That would be a shame because in almost every other aspect of their business they deliver brand experiences that delight. A key success driver on the path to advocacy

Waitrose should quickly review this issue, their approach to car parking, and manage it smarter before it gets out of hand.