Don't start an online sales channel if your back-office isn't ready

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I hate going to a shop (and especially loathe going into a mall). So I tend to buy most stuff online.

So I found a really good deal for a Bondic Liquid UV Laser Welder Evo Kit (basically a thingamajig for welding plastic together). I made my order with no hassles.

After making my ordeer the online store sent me some information via a text message which didn't really give me any information like "your order is ready for pick up" so I decided to give them a call.

The first thing, the guy who answered the phone worked for "ABC Tools" and not "CDE Online Tools" - while it seemed like it is the same company, why have a different name for your online channel? Or at least make it obvious that ABC Tools is the major company that owns CDE Online - but no-one should have to go through all this hassle in the first place.

But more irritating, the guy who answered the phone had never heard of CDE Online. He had literally no idea what I was talking about and kept on asking me which person had taken the order (even when I offered to give him my order number)..

So that was the first issue. And then he told me to phone back after 1.00pm because everyone was on lunch. Yes. True. So I pushed a little bit and asked "is there no-one in admin who can help me? I just want to check on an online order.". "No" he grumpily replied, "phone back after 1.00 O'clock".

So, as instructed, I hung up. And I haven't phoned back.

If you're going to add an online business to your existing physical business, make sure that at least the people who answer the inward coming from your website.

Perhaps even have two phone numbers so the receptionist (if you have one) can answer with the correct company name. Then make sure that, if someone phones during lunch time, the person who answers the phone can semi-intelligently nicely indicate that he can't help you but that "someone will phone you back, please leave a message and your phone number".

And then make bloody sure that someone actually does phone the customer back.

Update: I went and collected my order this morning. Great company and really nice people. But still at the front desk when I informed them that "I've come to collect an online order" they still asked "who took your order?"

So the other lesson is: train, retrain, train again and keep monitoring.