Horrible experience in e-commerce! Why e-commerce sites must start using agile on their customer care

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Around two weeks ago I ordered an item in the largest e-commerce site of vietnam. Due to several process issues I never received the item, even though I constantly expressed I wanted to receive the item, but due to process and bureaucracy I finally was not able to receive my product, even having paid in advance and paying fast delivery.

Now the problem continues. My score for the service received is 1, in a scale of 1 to 10. Following the NPS score system you can label me as a detractor. Therefore I will talk to my friends about this bad experience and that will not be positive for the company on the long run.

I think that customer satisfaction should be the objective of any e-commerce, and therefore I will explain how to apply Agile values to increase the overall experience.

People and interactions over processes and tools: I think this was the most frustrating for me. After several emails I managed to get to talk with one of the customer representatives, that focus on explain how important is the internal process, and that the reason that I didn’t receive my item is because of the process. Therefore he recommends me to follow the process (cancel my order, and order again).

Human interaction should be always ahead of processes. Companies must work to train our customer representatives to have a a set of values that represent the values of our company and trust them to take the correct decisions. Of course adding process is way easier than create a set core of values to live by, because you can’t see values.

Working software over comprehensive documentation: For e-commerce this can be rewritten as “solutions over paperwork”. Since the measurement of progress is the solutions that you provide to your customer. In this experience I felt myself spending time writing emails and receiving emails but I was not getting any place closer to the solution of my problem. They provided me boxed answers that didn’t solve my problems.

For this companies should take the initiative and call customers rather than sending long threads of emails with templates that doesn’t help to solve the problem of the customers and delay the issue resolution.

Responding to change over following a plan: Companies prepare their own internal process, create schedules and promises based on that and they’re solid about them. But the only thing that never change is change. In this case I was frustrated that I couldn’t change my phone number, and that I needed to cancel the order and order again, when it’s something trivial.

Companies should be able to support customers that and adapt to their needs rather than force them to follow the same process for everyone.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: In general e-commerce companies include a big FAQ and terms and conditions that provides a method to push down their processes to their customers by ensuring that you have signed off agreement. With my experience here I felt that the e-commerce site didn’t understood my problem or didn’t empathize with me and wanted to force me to follow their process.

The solution is to always try to find a middle ground that finds happiness for your customer, rather than just follow all contract (term and conditions) sold to your customer.


In a single line, I believe that a better customer care will emerge the moment that we teach our customer representatives values rather than provide them processes.

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