'We at Daraz take transparency very seriously'Daraz Nepal’s Chief Customer Officer Samjhana Subedi on the online marketplace’s customer care services, delivery systems and strategies to address shopper grievances.
Complaints of online shopping experiences gone wrong have been rising in Nepal as Covid-19 has reshaped the shopping behaviour of tens of thousands of urban Nepalis. Today, along with the growth of e-commerce, grouses of buyers have also surged. The Post’s Krishana Prasain conducted an email interview with Daraz Nepal’s Chief Customer Officer Samjhana Subedi to find out about the online marketplace’s customer care services, delivery systems and strategies to address shopper grievances. Excerpts:
Daraz is a marketplace. So how are you assuring quality and reasonable prices of goods? How does Daraz ensure that its consumers get the right information before they make any purchase?
Being a marketplace, we provide a platform to all sellers and buyers. However, we have different sections on the app to differentiate between general sellers and official distributors and brands. To maintain quality, we set specific guidelines for sellers, and if any of the guidelines isn’t followed, we impose penalties. All the products sold can be reviewed by customers, which helps them make an informed decision. Similarly, there is a stream of information flowing between Daraz, its buyers and sellers at any one point. From the basics regarding product details to more complex subjects such as returns and refunds, we focus on standardising our approach across all channels. We emphasise our communication being concise and easy to understand. We also encourage our sellers to do the same, as it is necessary for the customer to know about the products entirely to make their purchase decision.
How has the company been addressing customer grievances and enhancing their shopping experience?
Good customer service is all about transparency. We should not only be able to give a full and clear picture when customers reach out to us, but we should convey that from the start itself. Customer service is a holistic initiative, from the very start when the customer comes on our platform. Consequently, we at Daraz take transparency very seriously, and consequently, make great efforts to make this the norm.
Returning an order can be a hassle for customers. How does the company make it helpful for customers to make sure the return and refund procedure is as convenient as buying online?
Returning a product is really simple and easy at Daraz. We have a seven-day return window for normal products and a 14-day return window for DarazMall products. If a customer receives wrong or faulty packages, they can use the app/website to initiate a return. The return policy covers wrong, damaged and defective items being delivered. Once a customer returns their product to our logistics team, it is delivered to our Quality Control Centre, where various aspects of the return are checked. If all turns out satisfactory, the return is passed and the amount is refunded to the buyer. We highly encourage our customers to go through the policy to be better educated about the return policy as well as understand what kind of items can and cannot be returned.
What about complaints from consumers? How quick is Daraz to answer customer queries? What happens if a Customer Service Representative is not available?
We are, and always will be, customer-centric. For us, customer feedback is not only helpful, it is actually necessary. We not only gather feedback when customers reach out to us, we also proactively approach customers to get their views on our services and how we can improve them. It is only through the eyes of the customers that one can know where changes and improvements need to be made. If we don’t listen to the customers’ voices and blindly create a strategy, there is a high likelihood that such a strategy will not succeed. Further, we also have tools such as Net Promoter Score surveys to learn in which areas we need more focus. We at Daraz Sewa Sathi take pride and make constant efforts to make sure that we get back to our customers as soon as possible when they reach out to us. Thus, you won’t find it hard to get in touch with us during working hours as our Daraz Sewa Sathi team is always there to help through Live Chat and calls. We also have Daz, our virtual assistant, operational throughout the day ready to help.
As Daraz will be running shopping campaigns like Daraz Dashain Dhamaka, 11.11 and 12.12, how is the company managing logistics so that consumers get the goods delivered on time?
All our packages are digitally tracked and consolidated throughout their journey. This not only makes it easier for customers to know about the status of their packages, but it is also immensely important for us as it helps us eliminate instances of loss or wrong delivery. Customers also find it easy to track their packages through the app/website, where they can see the status updates of the package as it goes through the entire process. Additionally, we make sure to ramp up the human resources required to make sure every order is delivered on time.
The safety of personal information, especially during online payment, is a concern for all customers. Can you shed some light on the safety and security measures that Daraz follows to ensure customer information privacy?
Being an online e-commerce platform, data privacy and safety is of utmost concern to us. We want to make people feel safe and trust us to carry out transactions with us. That is the reason why we strictly follow and adhere to the highest international security standards. This is especially applicable to online payments made via cards or e-wallets. But it is also applicable to customers’ personal information, where we take care that no breaches occur.
Share your views on the future of customer service, how will it change and evolve over time?
The voice of the customer is always necessary and important for improvement as well as planning. Hence, customer service can further expand its horizon by being an integral part of the business strategy, for both proactive and reactive models.