Today, I'm getting out of the way and giving the blog limelight to my old work colleague and fantastic friend Tom Crinson. He's the nicest guy I could have ever worked with, but he's also completely bonkers and going on a life-changing trek up the Kilimanjaro in a few days. Here's his interesting customer care story... I am going on a walk. A very big frickin' walk, up a very big frickin' hill (Kilimanjaro). I am scared. However, I am about as well prepared as I can possibly be, I have decent kit which has cost a small fortune, I have been training a lot, which has hurt. However the biggest shock of it all so far has come from a customer services experience. This is what happened:
The trek is only a few days away and I am getting my kit together to run through final checklists etc. and I suddenly remember that after the trek I am going on a safari as well! As girly as it sounds, I have nothing to wear! I have been so focussed on the trek I had forgotten about it. Literally nothing I have would be good enough for the African savannah, and I start to panic. Mainly as I don't have a day free to go shopping on to get kit, and it's the middle of winter here, no shops are going to be pimping their summer wares just yet!
So panic sets in, I reach for the magical box which contains the internet (it is shiny and silver and has an apple on the front) and type in "Safari clothing", up pop lots of results. Clicking about I find some shirts that look like they are up to scratch for 40 or so of your english pounds. £40! For a frickin beige shirt?? Holy jesus mary mother of poo no way am I paying that. Remembering that some of my walking trousers are from a company called CragHoppers I thought I would give them a go. Perfect. Good quality shirts with UV(blah) protection and stuff. £15. Now were talking. Ordered two of those and two pairs of walking trousers that zip off to form shorts for a measly £70. A-mazing. Value and quality I know I can trust.
Confirmation email time. Oh yes, this gem: "Please note: We are currently experiencing some delay in the dispatch of orders. Therefore your order may take slightly longer to arrive. Please be patient and bear with us at this busy time." Appears in it! Not a single mention of this on the site, only after my money has been taken do they mention this. So I call them up...."Err.. WTF?" to hear an amazingly friendly voice which belongs to a nice lady called Dawn at the other end of CragHoppers' customer services line.
She explains to me how their system went down over Christmas and that they are going mental trying to get the back orders through. "But I'm off on friday!" I say, "Fear not" says she, and about an hour and a half later, the wonderful wonderful woman has somehow managed to get their warehouse to dispatch my order that day. Literally ordered Sunday night, panicked Monday, goods arrived Tuesday. Brilliant.
I don't think I have been so amazed by a customer services department before. She could have just told me to go away there was nothing she could do, but she went out of her way to help me and for that I am unbelievably grateful.
Thank you thank you thank you! I am now a teeny bit less stressed!