04 November 2011

10 BAD touchpoints with IKEA

Below is a letter to the CEO of IKEA HK re a complaint case that hasn't been resolved for months.

Mr Birks

This complaint case has been bothering me for the past few months!
And it still has not been resolved!
We're already in the experience economy.
I find it hard to believe that I am getting this kind of service from IKEA, given that I spend a few thousand every year.

Simply put, I had bad experience along all touchpoints with my recent purchase.

1st touchpoint: Call Center (17 Sep 2011)
- Nobody ever picked up the phone!

2nd touchpoint: LinkedIn (17 Sep 2011)
- I located someone named Tin Wong, Management Trainee at IKEA.
- Below is his reply!
- He has no accountability whatsoever!
- How's IKEA training its people?
- He's only looking for opportunity via LinkedIn?

Hi Daryl,
Received your message on IKEA's service.
Sorry for the unhappy shopping experience, at the same time, I am sorry that this is my private account searching for opportunities.
If you would like to file a complaint, please send an email to enquiry@ikea.com.hk and describe the case. Sorry that IKEA Hong Kong is not having any LinkedIn contact at this time. If you tell me more about the case, maybe I can think of some faster ways to help you as well.
Thank you for your message.

3rd touchpoint: Call Center + Email (17 Sep 2011)
- I called the hotline again!
- I was put on hold listening to meaningless messages for more than 25 mins.
- I had no choice but tried email at the same time.
- I received an autoreply to email below.
- It said I'd receive feedback within 3 biz days.
- But as expected, I got none!
- Finally, a gal picked up my phone.
- When asked why I had to wait for 25 mins, the gal told me that everyone in the call center was busy with the release of new catalog!
- For Christ's sake should that be my concern at all?
- She listened with patience, and promised me 2 things.
- That she would send someone to my apartment to take pics.
- That she would get back to me 4 days later for an update.
- Surprisingly, nobody got back to me after 4 days!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daryl Choy <>
Date: Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM
Subject: Complaint
To: enquiry@ikea.com.hk

I called your hotline this morning, and now I've waited for more than 25 mins and nobody is there to pick up the phone!

Your staff came to my apartment to assemble stuff on 14 Sep, and when he unpacked the boxes with his cutter, he scarred up my hardwood floor, and now there are 2 very visible big scars left on the floor!

I demand an explanation and possible compensation!
Order number 0401315276

I can be reached at (852).

Daryl Choy

4th touchpoint: Outbound Call Center (Late Sep 2011)
- I am not IKEA's employee, so it's not my responsibility to follow up on this complaint.
- Interestingly, a guy called me several days later after the 3rd touchpoint.
- He said he'd like to learn more about my experience with IKEA!
- My experience with IKEA?!
- That reminded me of the unpleasant experience with IKEA.
- I immediately asked him to stop the bullshit, and requested him to give me an update of my complaint.
- His reply was amazing!
- He's ONLY responsible for post-sale service follow-up.
- If I'd need help on my complaint, I should talk to someone else!
- He knew nothing about my complaint!

5th touchpoint: Call Center (Late Sep 2011)
- I called the hotline again.
- This time it's not another 25 mins, but within 10.
- But should I be happy with the 15 mins improvement?
- IKEA has just wasted another 10 mins of my life!
- I cut everything short and requested to talk to the supervisor.
- Someone named Sam picked up the phone.
- He said he'd investigate into the matter again, and get back to me soon.

6th touchpoint: Sam from Call Center (Late Sep 2011)
- He's the only one who won't talk shit.
- He's a guy of his word.
- He shared with me the reason why nobody got back to me as promised was because the gal has resigned!
- However, he's helpless!
- Because someone named Philip Wong said it's none of his responsibility!
- His staff couldn't have scratched my floor!
- Oh really?!
- I thanked Sam, but told him I'd try to talk to someone more senior.

7th touchpoint: Martin Lindstrom from LinkedIn
- I located Martin Lindstrom, CEO of IKEA Taiwan
- I shared with him the situation, and he's kind enough to reply.

Dear Daryl,
Only retrieving your message earlier this evening, as all linkedin messages are forwarded to my private email address which I am only reviewing sporadically.
It is difficult for me to have any opinion on the specific case and I am sorry to learn on your frustration in contacting with IKEA in Hong Kong.
To the information received earlier this evening the case is handled and under review by the customer relations team in Hong Kong who are in direct contact with you on this matter.

The team has all your details, and will get back to you separately.


8th touchpoint: Maria Chiu (mid Oct 2011)
- Maria called.
- She said she's the Customer Relations Manager.
- Martin has helped which I appreciated.
- I shared with her the situation.
- She said she'd investigate into the matter again, and update me later.
- Since I had a few biz trips, I suggested that she should call me a few days later.

9th touchpoint: Maria Chiu (late Oct 2011)
- She did call, but she was not at all helpful.
- She was trying to prove that I was wrong but IKEA was right!
- She told me that what I had shared with her couldn't be possible, because that's not allowed according to IKEA's policy.
- Holy!!!
- She simply drove me crazy!
- She kept telling me not to be unhappy!
- Why would I be unhappy with a crazy woman who couldn't talk sense!?
- Since she so much liked to share with me how IKEA should get things done based on the policy, I asked her about the tipping policy.
- To be more specific, should staff take tips from customers after the assembly services?
- She said no according to the book.
- Then I asked why the 3 staff who did the assembly for me received HK$100 tips from me!?
- She couldn't understand a thing!
- She kept telling me that this was not possible and that was not allowed because of the policy!
- Has she ever visited any client, or she just stays in the air-conditioned office all day doing nothing!?
- Is that what a CR Manager should do!?
- If she does not even understand how your employees interact with end users, how the heck could she support the team to deliver positive experience?
- She's a waste of time!
- Honestly, I do not expect a senior staff to talk shit.
- Since she has problem understanding me, I requested to talk to you directly.

10th touchpoint: CEO of IKEA HK
- I've already updated the situation to Consumer Council.
- One free local newspaper is being copied.
- I'll also connect with more local media.
- This case study will also be shared on Social Media such as Twitter.
- Being a consultant/trainer myself, this will also be used as a case study.
- I appreciate your thoughts back on this.