Efficiencey Vs Effectiveness.

A mistake that most people make when they read Drucker’s quote is to treat both as mutually exclusive.  They are not.  Both are vital in all aspects of life, particularly, when it comes to customer service.

I placed an online order for some Deepavali goodies on the 16th inst.  On the 18th, I received a text message to the effect that the goods had been shipped on the 17th and gave me a tracking number.  I had been tracking the parcel from the 18th online and finally got fed up and the outcome was this story given below.

This letter that I wrote to the Head Office of a large courier company in India earlier this week cannot be any more lucid.

“Your Yerwada Pune office, which I presume is a franchisee is the most unprofessional commercial establishment that I have come across.

I get many parcels through many courier companies and have not had the few experiences that i have had with your Yerwada branch. So much so that I have requested my contacts in the South of India not to use your services to send any thing to me.

The latest instance refers to tracking number XXXXXXXXX.

The parcel reached your Yerwada office on the 18th of October and till yesterday was not delivered to me. With great difficulty, I found their telephone number and rang them up to enquire when one Mr. Isaac was most inefficient in his responses and I finally had to send someone personally to collect the parcel from your Yerwada office. That person found three men there very clearly under the influence of alcohol.

The parcel was opened and it was clear that attempts had been made to see what was packed inside. Luckily despite damaging the plastic outer over of a box, nothing was stolen though the last time the same sender had sent me some edible stuff one packet was stolen.

I am disgusted. I have informed this sender also not to use your services to send anything to people in Pune.”

Let me explain the concepts involved vis a vis Drucker;

The vendor shipped properly and on time and having arranged to inform me about the shipment, washed his hands off the matter as there was no follow up to ensure that the goods were delivered on time for the Deepavali celebrations. He was efficient but not effective. Why not effective? He also shut down his shop for Deepavali and no one would answer the phone and even emails to him were bouncing.

Let us now come to the Courier company. They accepted the parcel, duly entered the details in their online system to enable the recipient or sender to track the parcel. All along the way, the system was updated as the parcel changed hands and offices. The courier company was efficient till now but became ineffective when they did not catch the parcel not being despatched on the 18th inst, or even the 19th from their Pune office.

I however think that I was effective in writing to the Corporate Head Office and I am rather surprised at their response. Within a few minutes of sending the mail, I got a copy of the mail that they sent from their corporate head office to their Regional Head Office in Mumbai reading as follows:

“Urgently find the below complaint and do the needful.”

The language is typically Indian English and let us give allowance for that and accept that the CHO has done the thing right and also the efficient thing. They have kept the reporting structure intact and kept the customer informed on the action taken. Have they been effective? No. Nothing further has happened as I write this blog post. I will now become efficient and hopefully effective by sending a reminder to the Head Office every day, till I get a resolution to this poor customer service.

I shall also be writing to the vendor that I shall not place any orders on him unless he changes the courier and would follow up till I get a commitment from him. If I cannot succeed in that endeavour, I shall simply find another vendor.

I have suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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10 Responses to Efficiencey Vs Effectiveness.

  1. Shackman says:

    Interesting I have typically not encountered many delivery problems We have an efficient and effective mail system and competition has left us with in effect five, efficient alternatives like FedEx, UPS and others. The occasional hiccups have been resolved quickly and I cannot recall an expected de!ivery not arriving as is the delay in receiving the book you ordered. Irony??

    • Yes, very ironic indeed. I am unable to track the parcel after it left India on the 22nd September by air to New York. From there the USP takes over and my vendor had informed me that it can take up to four to six weeks before the consignment reaches customers in the USA. It should reach you any day now. Since I have forwarded the vendor’s mail to you too, you might like to check using the same tracking number on USP website. I shall send you by mail a screen shot of the tracking record.

  2. tammy j says:

    i seldom order anything that needs delivering. so far the few things i have ordered have had tracking numbers also and have arrived with no problems.
    nothing is more tedious and aggravating than to have no voice in a matter and total frustration. apparently businesses have so many customers now that those who have bad experiences are not deemed important enough to help. sad.
    what do you think of amazon’s new idea of delivering the package right inside your house in your absence?
    no thank you!
    tammy j recently posted..moving on old bean

    • A whole week has passed and there has been no response from the courier company though I don’t have to worry about the parcel. My point that they are not efficient or effective.

  3. Mike says:

    Shipments and deliveries for us are almost always efficient and effective. Most things arrive within a couple of business days of being ordered. Those that can’t be delivered in a short period of time are usually delivered sooner than the original estimate. When there are delays, they can be attributed to external causes, such as weather or other glitches whose effects are felt across the nation.

    (This reminded me of an interaction I had with a deliveryman, which I have added to my growing lists of things for future blog posts. More later. 😉 )
    Mike recently posted..Twitter me Not!

  4. Mostly our system works fine, but yesterday (October 27) I received a package that was due Thursday, October 19. Apparently it was damaged by FedEx during shipment, so when it arrived in Santa Fe they shipped it back to the vendor in Indiana. FedEx marked it as delivered once it got back. (Not a good show, FedEx! But it’s up to the vendor to complain, they’re the one with some clout.)

    The vendor wrote to ask me if I still wanted it, I said yes, and they sent it again. I had noticed it was late so knew what had happened, but the vendor didn’t. If it happens again, I will notify the vendor, but I also wrote to them saying they could change their system. They always notify me when I receive something from them, so they could change their computer system to notice when something has gone wrong. It probably doesn’t happen very often, but they charge a lot for quality and customer service, so it’s not unfair to hold them to a high standard.

    It probably won’t happen again, so it’s not a serious problem. It’s still a good idea to speak up.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..How Gross!

  5. the package/mail delivery systems have changed here…some of them, not end-buyer friendly.

    my worse occasion was recently when a package that was clearly addressed to Wgtn was returned to me – because the franking machine went rogue and franked the back of envelope with my “senders” address on it. I took it down to the post office to see “why” and the people there said, maybe your local delivery person was blind! It clearly had said “TO:…on the front; with SENDER:… on reverse.

    Anyway it did get off correctly the 2nd time around, with no charge to me…

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