Those who follow Electrum Branding on social media know that Zoe is our bull terrier mascot following in the paw-steps of brand legends such as Target’s Bullseye and Bud Light’s Spuds Mackenzie (If you’re under 40, Google it).  But what few people realize is that she also models herself after Morris the Cat (again, Google it!) and is a frustratingly finicky eater. After refusing to even sniff at her dry kibble, I tried a variety of wet food options which she might eat one day, then refuse the next. Leaving me with an empty canine and a full cupboard.  The problem was becoming as visible as Zoe’s ribcage and I needed a solution fast.


Dog and Pony Show

I researched dog food options and was impressed with the wide array of fresh pet food made with human-grade ingredients.  Their mouth-watering presentations were doing their job and I found myself getting hungry.  I was sold. Although the price tag for all brands was jaw dropping, most services offered a substantial discount on the first order, making the investment only slightly more than what I was spending for food that was going uneaten. I filled out a pet profile which generated recommended food options for my picky pooch, placed my order, and eagerly awaited delivery.  Would she or wouldn’t she eat it?  I was dying to find out.


Like a Dog with Two Tails

Her food arrived on the promised delivery date, still frozen in its special container.  I thawed a pouch for her first meal and was relieved when she chowed down and finished the entire packet without coming up for air.  Eureka!  I was so happy and excited to think that mealtime might once again be about sustenance rather than suspense, that I didn’t think to check that my order was complete.


In the Doghouse

It wasn’t until days later when, curious to see if she would like the beef as much as the chicken, I discovered that half my order was missing. Where’s the beef? (Again, Google it, kids!) I contacted customer support who confirmed that they had neglected to ship 14 beef meals.  Rather than apologize and offer to throw in a few extra packets of food for free, what they instead offered was to send me what I paid for at no additional charge.  Certainly, my ears were failing me. When I asked the rep to confirm that he was going to ship me the food that I had already bought and paid for at no additional charge, he replied, “You bet. No problem!”


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Being content that Zoe was eating, I was willing to overlook one mistake and looked forward to receiving the replacement order and getting Zoe’s review of the beef meal.  Would it be as well received as the chicken? That remains to be seen for it has still not arrived.


The Dog Ate My Homework

My second call to customer support resulted in me being presented with a series of excuses as to why I had not received my full order weeks after it was being placed. I was even educated on inclement weather and how it can negatively impact delivery services. I might have been more receptive to that argument if they had not agreed to ship the missing order a week ahead of the artic blast that paralyzed much of the Midwest. My dissatisfaction was growing.


Every Dog Has Its Day

Fortunately, within minutes, I received a text survey asking me about my satisfaction with their product and service.  A-ha!  Here was my chance to finally have my voice heard and get some restitution for my inconvenience. My patience would be rewarded. On a scale where 1 is very unsatisfied and 5 is very satisfied, I generously rated them a 2 since Zoe does love the food. Expecting a prompt to explain my negative rating, I was disappointed when all I received was “Thank You.”


Not Having a Dog in the Hunt

Knowing that Zoe’s trial period was ending, and I would soon be charged for a month’s worth of food (which is greater than my monthly car payment was in college), I decided to cancel my delivery subscription and try my luck elsewhere. That was easier said than done, for when I tried to update my delivery options online, I was repeatedly taken back to the homepage.  Once again, I was back on the phone with yet another customer support representative with no interest in retaining a customer.  She was very accommodating and canceled my delivery subscription within seconds. And, although she didn’t ask, I volunteered my explanation as to why I was canceling to which she replied, “That’s too bad.”


Don’t Let the Doorknob Hit You Where the Dog Should Have Bit You

Not knowing how the other fresh food delivery options might be received by Zoe, or, heaven forbid, their service is worse, I asked if I could keep my account open. I was told that was not possible.  My account would have to be deleted. However, if I ever wanted to order again, I could just set up a new account. “It’s super easy!


Come. Sit. Stay!

One day after my account was deleted, I received an email claiming they missed me and offering me 20% off my first order if I would come back.  Too late, that dog has left the kennel.


Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

If I had the opportunity to share my experience with the decision makers at this company, I would remind them that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer and the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% versus 5-20% for a new customer.


Therefore, you should:

  • Train your customer support team on customer retention strategies.
  • Give them the ability to provide incentives when addressing less-than-stellar service
  • Leverage feedback to address gaps in service delivery or replicate outstanding experiences.
  • Test your online user experience often to ensure ease of use.
  • Keep even unhappy customer accounts open and follow up with incentives to order again.


Need help making your customer support the best in show?  Contact the customer experience experts at Electrum Branding.