This is a true story that happened to a friend of mine...
Sometime last year, she bought a pair of shoes from a local brand for more than RM 200. That was the first time she bought from that particular brand thinking that it is a decent brand.
However, the shoes left bruises on her feet within the first 30 minutes she wore it. Mind that those are not high heels but comfy (covered) shoes, and she doesn't have abnormal feet size.
She just felt so disgusted and stop wearing it since. Due to a busy lifestyle, she didn't make the time to lodge any complaint or whatsoever.
Until recently, the founder of that particular brand was on a TV talk show Start 'A' Biz. In that show, he bragged about how his company emphasizes on Brand and Quality. You know what's next, my friend felt even more disgusted, doubting that whether they are really looking into their product's quality before putting it up on stores.
So, she suddenly felt an urge to vent her frustration, by writing to the company's email as well as their Facebook group.
The thread title "From a disappointed customer" appeared so prominently on the brand's Facebook group.
Within a matter of days, the customer service representative contacted my friend, apologized and trying to compensate with cash vouchers. Not feeling content with the brand anymore, my friend instead asked them to recommend a pair of comfy shoes for an exchange. She would like to send back the old ones (not that old, only wore for 30 minutes) so that they can inspect what went wrong to that particular model. Doubt they will do so though.
After ding-ding-dong-dong, they finally recommended a few pairs of comfortable shoes and guest what? All pairs are actually sandals and not covered shoes.
Feeling unpleasant but don't feel like exaggerating this matter any further, my friend just opted for another pair of covered shoes, instead of sandals!
The funny thing is, the customer service representative later told her something like this: "Please help to reply and clarify the matter on our Facebook group, it has been affecting us so much."
I thought it is the right of the consumer to compliment or criticize your product or service, not you the brand owner asking your customer to do so.
Although feeling even more unpleasant, my friend still wrote this replying to her own thread. She just thought that may be the customer service representative was inexperienced but at least she has tried her best to follow up with this matter. Hey, my friend would had write in nicer words without being instructed to do so.
Being generous, she had also asked the Facebook group administrator to remove the thread if they feel necessary. Since it has been affecting them, the thread was then being removed by the administrator.
It seems that they are more keen to remove that complaint thread from their Facebook group, rather than prioritizing their customer's satisfaction.
Moral of the story
Brand is not all about talk, exclusivity or pricing up your products. It's about the quality of your product or service, customer's satisfaction and much more than that.
Not in all cases, but some of the Malaysian brands out there really need to bulk up and deliver real quality to the consumers. Don't take things for granted.
I just have a feeling that customer service is still very third-world here. Imagine how frustrated you are when calling the customer care numbers of most local businesses (especially service providers).
During those days without Facebook, perhaps my friend might not even get a reply by just complaining via email or phone. But now, brand or customer service can't hide anymore!