Tesco – Credit where credit is due

Andrew S - 31 st October 2014

Tesco have quite rightly been under the spotlight recently. Their profit has dropped substantially due to their creative accounting. . They have directly impacted the FTSE100. Their Chairman has gone. They have fallen out of favour with their customers as they focused on themselves and now even the SFO are getting in on the "kicking". After all this is said and done, I experienced a glimmer of great service this weekend and I experienced it from Tesco. Yes, Tesco.

My daughter has a Hudl. Tesco’s own tablet. The first one that came out. She’s had it for nearly a year and I noticed a few months back that she’d stopped using it. When I asked why, she said it wouldn’t charge. So being a gadgeteer I thought no problem I’ll get that sorted. She was right and I couldn’t get it to charge either. The end result was that I, quite lethargically, did nothing about it.

So with a bit of time on my hands this Sunday I had another stab at trying to get it charging again and failed. Reluctantly, as a failing parent, I decided to contact Tesco and see if they could help. I found the box from the Hudl and opened it up. Clearly displayed on the main box was an 0800 number (Freephone from a landline) to get support and their opening hours. Perfect start.

I have run contact centres in my past and managed multiple changes that impact multiple contact centres. Having been involved in numerous discussions around how to simplify IVRs to make them more customer friendly whilst getting the customer to the right person in the business to help them first time, this is the stage I always dread when on the receiving end. Because it’s not easy and often not well executed. So I call Tesco. There are multiple layers to the Tesco IVR, but actually it is surprisingly intuitive and worked for my situation. It was pretty clear what I needed to press. Often it really isn’t clear what you should select and you bumble along (or do the old trick of repeatedly hitting zero until you confuse the hell out of it and just get a human anyway!) until you get a human who then can’t help and sends you off on a journey of frustration and transfers.

So I was ready. Poised. Expecting awfulness ! This is Tesco. They only care about themselves was buzzing through my head. I selected my options to then be told to wait for someone who could help and got some music. Actually I wasn’t too fussed as I’d called a Freephone number and carried on doing stuff round the house with my phone in hand whilst waiting. Fifteen minutes passed and they answered. Typically that would annoy me (and it’s not great), but it was Sunday morning and I was in a good mood and waited patiently. I spoke to the gent that answered, he asked for my personal details and order reference number which pre armed I had pulled from my online account details pretty easily. He took a few details, listened to my charging woes and gave me some thoughts around how to prevent that happening in the future. Then within minutes and without question, he told me he was going to send me a brand new Hudl with a three month warranty. He took me by surprise. No argument, no questioning, just said he would do it. I’ve only experienced that sort of service before with Amazon so I was mighty impressed. It would be with me on Tuesday via DPD and I’m to package up my old one and give it to the DPD guy. That’s just 48 hours away from Sunday. Brilliant.

How do I feel? Pretty good really. It was a slick, straight forward experience, resulting in a new Hudl for my daughter who now feels Christmas has arrived early !

In amongst all the bad press of the last few weeks I thought I would give credit where credit is due. I should have called Tesco two months ago.

Andrew is the CEO and the other founding partner of Brand Vista. With over 30 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side, what gets him up every morning is a passion for helping clients grow through building genuinely differentiated brands that deliver a customer experience that becomes irresistible.
Find out more about Andrew S