It's 1st of October, and to our surprise, it is the longest weekend in a long time, probably a decade. Starting from 28th of August which was Anant Chaturdashi followed by a surprise public holiday declared on the 29th of August. 30th August and 1st October being the weekend and 2nd October being Gandhi Jayanti. All weekend destinations are highly priced and crowded. People who are making last-minute decisions diligently planning their trips, shopping, cleaning their home, washing clothes, running long-pending errands, and basically everything that was put on a back burner.
On the other hand, there is a small group of professionals we call customer support who just woke up on a Sunday sipping on a cup of coffee ready to start one of the busiest shifts with headphones on, glued to the laptops at office or home with a single goal - committed to provide the best customer experience for their respective products or services.
During this rush hour, here are 3 extreme experiences that I want to share with you to give you a glimpse of the longest weekend.
1. A Customer's Instant Delivery Request
I have just hung up on a call wherein I assisted a customer through the journey of how to apply a coupon, and I get a call from another customer who is frantic that his order has been extensively delayed. I ask him for a minute to check his details. He reluctantly agrees to spare a minute. Upon checking his details, I found out that he had placed his order 15 minutes ago. The merchant has selected self-delivery, and the item has been marked out for delivery. I inform the same to the customer, and he will receive it shortly. He was upset as he was expecting the items that he ordered to be delivered to him in 15 minutes. I tried explaining to the customer that the items he ordered were being prepared fresh, and that's why it takes a bit of time, but it will be delivered to him warm and fresh. He was still upset as he was expecting delivery within 15 minutes, as advertised by many other companies. I tried to calm him down and explain why it was taking more than 15 minutes. The nature of the business from where he has ordered prepares home-style food, and they don't refrigerate products. They prepare items as and when they receive the order, which is why it usually takes some time for the preparation to be complete. The customer was somehow in a rush, possibly because he had friends at home, and that's why he wanted the items to be delivered there and then. While he kept comparing with other applications which deliver under 20 minutes, I tried to reason that those items are already packaged and ready to be delivered; here, preparation time is required. In the meanwhile, the merchant had already sensed the urgency of the customer and sent it out for delivery with an urgent note.
Xirify is the only app which is 100% transparent and gives options to the merchant to make sure that through their exceptional services, they create a loyal customer base and a sustainable ecosystem. While I was on call with the customer, I could hear a doorbell ring, and the delivery was done as the customer confirmed. That is where true accountability lies, isn't it?
However, to ensure the customer experience I had to escalate this call to my manager because the customer expected a shorter wait time.
As a support team member, I am not allowed to linger with these thoughts and give objectified solutions as it might affect the experience of my next customer. I will have to move on, and everybody who is in customer support knows the fact that we must move on.
2. Assisting a Confused Customer
Few more calls breeze by, and I am about to get ready to punch my break for lunch when I see a customer who has cancelled his order immediately after placing it. Out of concern, I give him a call, and he informs that he was a bit unclear about how to place the order, so he just picked up the order. On Xirify the order flow is slightly different than most Apps. I explained the process to make sure next time his journey is smooth. Just as the customer hangs up the phone, within a few seconds, I get a call from the same number. It’s a friend of the same customer I just spoke to and wants to continue the conversation with someone who can speak in English (At Xirify, support is available in Marathi, Hindi, and English). I assured him that I can speak in English, and the conversation continues.
Customer’s Friend: “So you understand that your application was recommended by the store here and wanted to place the order on Xirify and avail the benefit of your welcome coupons. It is very disappointing that we couldn’t do it”
Clearly understanding that the customer is upset, I tried to calm him by saying
“I am sorry about your experience…”
Just as I am about to continue further, I am immediately interrupted, and the customer’s friend goes on to saying that - “There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube about how to use an app, but have you ever come across a tutorial on how to place an order on Swiggy or Zomato? If you cannot have an app as simple as that, you shouldn’t have an app at all.”
As a customer support representative, it is very important to let the customer vent out. Never interrupt anything the customer has to say and keep a mental note of all the points raised by the customer. This reduces the chances of a conversation being escalated. With this embedded in our head after years of service, I started listening to the customer patiently and waited for him to give me the space to respond.
“Your company must have stipulated that it is important for the customer's order-placing journey to be simple. Oh, and I hope you know the meaning of STIPULATED.”
I responded, “Of course, and I also understand that you were disappointed about not being able to place…”
Now he seemed to have raised his voice further, “Great, these days it is difficult to find customer support operated by an actual human being who understands and speaks English. You can’t fathom how disappointing it is. Oh, and hopefully you understand what fathom means.”
Sensing these words are coming from a customer who is frustrated after months of interaction with chatbots and possibly not getting the right support from the system, I politely responded, “I understand what fathom means, and if you will allow me, I would like to share how Xirify works.”
He seemed a bit calmer now, “Go on, tell me what you have to say?”
Me: “Thank you for comparing us with the likes of Swiggy and Zomato. We still have a long mile to walk to match up to the expectations of valuable customers like yourself. We know it is not going to be easy, but we will always work with the ethics of Customer First. Every time we get feedback on how we can do better, we listen and try our best to implement it. A lot of our features are based on customer demand. I will make sure to share it with the concerned department what you have suggested about making the order-placing journey smoother. We probably get 1% call where the customer says it’s difficult to place the order, but that 1% is also equally important for us, and we will walk the extra mile to ensure the best customer experience. For us our Merchant’s are also customer. We are trying to boost neighbourhood buying and economy by giving a flexible commission model to our Merchants which enables the merchants to pass on the benefits to Customers. I don’t know what the future holds but currently Xirify is not very keen on having chat bots, so you can just pick up your phone and dial our support number for assistance.”
I further gave him an example of an outlet and once he compared the prices with other platforms after discounts he found Xirify to be more cost effective. I also urged him that you might come across a scenario where in you are not getting the best prices but please do share it with us. We will see if there is something that can be done from our end.
After a brief pause, he responds that Xirify should more prominently advertise all this and that he was rather intrigued to use the services to compare and share feedback where required.
Realising that he is content with the response he has received, my focus shifted back on the fact that I am late for lunch. I invited him to use Xirify again and to reach out to us if any support required and bid him farewell.
3. Touching Customer Testimonial: A Heartwarming Encounter
Around 6 pm, the phone rang, and I greeted the caller with my usual line, "Hello, welcome to Xirify, How may I assist you today?" On the other end, an elderly gentleman responded, "God bless you all" the conversation followed is Marathi.
Me: "Thank you so much. May I know why?"
Customer: "I am 90 years old, and I didn't know how to use an app or make online payments. My son lives in the US, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to shop for our daily needs. One of your registered merchants (he mentioned the merchant's name too) came to my rescue. He helped me download the Xirify app, showed me how to use it, and even arranged a post-payment option for me by calling and informing your support (Xirify offers post-payment service for its regular shoppers or those recommended by the merchants specially). Now, I order almost everything—vegetables, groceries, and even our daily Chapatis, my wife can't make chapatis anymore due to her wrist pain, you know, the typical old age problem. Thanks to Xirify, I can order everything we need, and my son makes the payments online once a month. You guys are really doing a fantastic job by connecting us with trusted neighbourhood businesses. I wonder how we would have managed without Xirify!"
Me: "Thank you so much for your kind words. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to let us know. We are just a call away." As I said this, my voice was filled with gratitude and a sense of purpose, knowing that we are making a significant difference through our service in someone’s life.
Our journey through this extraordinary weekend has been filled with valuable insights and heartwarming encounters. each interaction has reinforced our commitment to providing you with the best customer support and experience.
We want to extend our gratitude to all our customers for being an essential part of our journey. Your feedback, whether positive or challenging, fuels our dedication to improving our services continually.
And to all my fellow customer support professionals in the space, our efforts, and sacrifices (Weekends & Holidays) in ensuring customer satisfaction is not in vain, we are making a difference in the lives of our customers for better.
If you have finished reading the blog “Sorry for the Inconvenience for writing a long one. Please do share your views and comment. We assure you that your feedback is taken VERY seriously.”
Xirify Support Team