Turning a Negative Experience for Better (or Worse?)
A few days ago I was stranded around Mal Ambasador and found it hard to catch a ride home. I tried Gojek and Grab to no success and ended up waiting an hour before finally getting a car ride.
The next day, I checked my email and found an email from Grab granting me a free ride. Hmmm that's not so bad. I put it at the back of my head until the next time I need to catch a bike ride, which turned out to be today.
It was 5 pm on a Friday. Traffic is usually horrible and I didn't want to waste any minute commuting to home. Bike ride was the fastest way to go. Well, let's try that free ride from Grab, shall we?
I opened Grab app and pinpointed my pick-up and drop-off locations. I could easily spot the promo code field. Cool. I typed in the code that I had received in the email before, and it worked. Good thing it was not case-sensitive. I was enjoying it for a bit, but of course it came down to my only goal: getting home as soon as possible.
The app tried to find me a driver, listing out (possible) names- actually I'm not so sure what those names refer to and why I need to see them. Because shortly after, I got a message saying they couldn't find me a driver and automatically suggest to try again.
After several attempts, apparently "the drivers seem busy". Just like last Tuesday. Only this time the level of my dissatisfaction drops even further. When I think of Grab, what's stuck on my mind is the difficulty to find a driver.
I briefly shared this experience with my workmate and we discussed whether Grab's free ride promo was a good thing or not. I tried to map out the customer experience journey. The free ride promo is a potential turning point to steer customer from their bad experience. The outcome is combination of sincerity of the apology, enticement of the promise "next time will be better", customer's contextual needs, and execution of the promised improvement.
In my case, the second time trying the service is a total failure like the first time, so the (relation)ship has sunken so deep. Imagine if I did get a driver and was driven to home happily without having to pay anything (illustrated with the imaginary path). Grab would have lifted me from a lowland, up to the moon!
What if there is no free ride promo or any attempt to win back the customer whatsoever? Well that was my case with Gojek. It also failed to get me a driver on Tuesday and it's been sitting on the same negative point until now. How will it ever move from there? It should wait until the next moment I interact with Gojek, which could be more random and uncontrolled, could either be going downward or upward.
Overcoming customer's negative experience, it's ideal to respond with immediate recovery action. The challenge is to measure yourself to make sure you don't over-promise and then under-deliver. Never get ahead of yourself.