Monday, November 23, 2009

Have you had customer service this good?

Here's a customer service email I received from hungryhouse, an online takeaway service.

It's worth reading as an example of the kind of customer service we should all be getting.

In fact, this email probably goes above and beyond the call of duty as it's possible I made a mistake (although even if I did, what happened illustrates the importance of a landing page that echoes the offer you've just read.) You'll see what I mean in a minute.

OK so lets you order your takeaway online.

I'm not quite sure why it's better than calling up your local restaurant direct but I gave it a go on Friday because I happened to see a 10% offer RTed (that's retweeted for all you twitter haters - come on, keep up).

So I clicked the link and went through to Within seconds I'd found our local curry house that I was going to order from anyway, so I thought I'd try hungryhouse and save some money.

Trouble was, because I never saw a big button that said '10% discount', I had no way of knowing that I'd secured that deal. I don't know what my order usually costs and I was going to add it all up to see if I got the money off.

So I was left wondering whether I got the deal at all. And I thought I'd just paid exactly the same price for a longer service as it would take time to pass on the order to the restaurant.

Actually, we found the order go through immediately and I'd say ordering through hungryhouse was just as quick as calling the restaurant direct. I can even see the benefit of browsing the menu online (many local takeaways do not have a dedicated website), plus, hopefully, you won't get any Chinese whispers over the phone (no pun intended) and so hopefully, you won't get any mistakes.

Well, there's still room for human error, as I discovered when we were left naan-less and in posession of two, not one, mint yoghurts (I know, I know, how did we manage?)

However, I emailed hungryhouse and received an email back within an hour or two. Here it is:

Hi Hayes,

I'm really sorry to hear you had some trouble using our special offer tonight.
The discount is definitely up and running. Provided that you clicked on the link
and chose to pay by card, 10% of your order value should have been deducted.

I completely understand your frustration. Rest assured that I have passed your
information on to our IT team so they can investigate what went wrong.

As a gesture of apology for this disappointment, I would like to offer you
£2.00 off a future order with us - if you're willing to consider giving us
another chance to serve you better. To redeem this discount, you need to upgrade
to a member account at URL
- it only takes a few seconds and it's free! £2.00 will then be automatically
deducted from the next order you pay for by card. Please note however, that
unused credit automatically expires after 90 days.

This slightly more than covers the discount you should have received on your
order tonight.

Thanks for ordering at hungryhouse and for bringing this issue to our attention.
Once again, I'm really sorry for this incovenience. I hope you enjoy your meal
from 3 Spice and have a great weekend.

Kind regards,


Isn't that good? Hungryhouse - give it a go. And pray something goes wrong so you can get one of those lovely emails from Whitney.

PS. I even told hungryhouse about the missing naan in my feedback email, which comes soon after your food. Another email from Whitney, this time to tell me she'd credited my card the cost of the bread. What do you think of that, then?

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