I’ve been a big fan of Flipkart for quite some time now and regularly use it to buy books online. I had placed an order for some books this Sunday, and was a bit surprised when I got an email from Flipkart yesterday saying that all four items were shipped. While Flipkart is normally quite efficient, I was overjoyed to see my items so soon. That was until I saw the shipping agent – a “Flipkart Self Delivery”.
I had no tracking number to track the shipment. The email didn’t give any link to a website to find out more about this “Self Delivery”. Flipkart itself didn’t mention this anywhere in its FAQ’s or its website. To top that, the link to the “Self Delivery” website in my order summary was broken. I was a bit perplexed. What was this “Self Delivery”? Did it mean that I needed to go and pick the books up from somewhere?
At my wits end, I posted a quick tweet to the official twitter account, @flipkart, saying:
@flipkart what is “flipkart self delivery” ? How do I Track my order ?
Within a few minutes I got a short reply from Flipkart saying:
@enygmatic_in One of our people. We’ll buzz you in a bit.
And a few seconds after that, like a scene from the Matrix, my phone rang!!
A helpful customer representative from Flipkart quickly explained what “Self Delivery” was all about and assured me that my books would be delivered by Tuesday. With that one simple action, Flipkart raised my expectations of customer service to a whole new level.
I think going forward brands will need to take customer service to new heights, tying real time conversations (queries, complaints etc) on social media to faces (real customers) and delivering through both online and offline channels (like the telephone, snail mail, shop interactions etc). If done right, it has the potential to turn every customer interaction into one of more respect and admiration for the brand. With the online and offline worlds merging, like in my little tale above, I think we are about to enter a brave new world.
Oh and by the way, “Self Delivery” is Flipkart’s attempt at logistics (something I wasn’t aware of, since I hadn’t ordered anything from them since July). And if you are curious, I ordered: Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene, The man who died laughing by Taraquin Hall, Blowback by Mukul Deva.