Summary: Martina Mercer, marketing director of Money Mate, explains how the recent furore surrounding Moonpig could end up being beneficial for the brand as long as they toe the line…
There are a lot of angry customers right now who are shooting down Moonpig on social media, and venting their frustrations to anyone who will listen. The reason? Moonpig’s failed deliveries and substandard products from their personalised range on Mother’s Day.
The complaints include broken vases, mislaid items, late cards and dead flowers, while some were upset with the creased labels on wine bottles and the baffling packaging. Moonpig PR is no doubt working overtime right now to limit the damage but do they truly deserve the national witch hunt that’s infecting Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Probably not.
When we look closely we see the amount of disgruntled customers is in the twenties. Before the age of the internet, this amount of customer dissatisfaction would not have spread further than a small village. Now, with instant access to customer service departments and the media, it spreads like wildfire and Moonpig’s competitors have more than a hand in making sure every corner of the earth hears about their mistakes.
Have Moonpig Made a Big Mistake?
There’s no denying Moonpig have made a mistake, and the question of whether we should forgive them will be answered once we see how they handle the fallout, BUT, this mistake does make them human, and already shows that they’re devastated about the effect this has had on customers.
Like all of us are guilty of, they trusted a new supplier, whether you’re in business or not, you’re familiar with this concept. Maybe you’ve hired a window cleaner that never turns up (or can’t clean windows for toffee), maybe you’ve chosen a child care provider who doesn’t live up to expectations, maybe you’ve hired someone who always rings in sick and obviously lied on their CV, the point is we’ve all been fooled and the reason we have been fooled is because we’re human, just like the guys at Moonpig.
They trusted a supplier to keep up with their ethos of high quality personalised gifts and cards delivered on time. The shoddy supplier obviously took on too much, or took the p***, and left a huge mess to clean up on one of the busiest times of year for Moonpig.
So should we forgive Moonpig? As it stands, yes we should. Should we use them again? We should definitely use them again because if they are human, they will spend the next 12 months exceeding expectations in the hope that we all put this Mother’s Day Moonpig massacre behind us.
What Did Moonpig Customer Service Do Wrong?
The next 48 hours is critical for Moonpig, they’ve already made a few mistakes, such as trying to get out of this chaos without cutting into their profits. STOP! Moonpig you know you’re going to make a loss, whether it’s now or in the next 3 months when sales fall through the floor, you should take the hit now to ensure those sales pick back up as quickly as possible, as being tight with the cash now, could impact your brand forever! That’s a fact.
Moonpig are offering those affected a five pound voucher and a bunch of flowers (the same flowers people have complained about) and that insult of an apology has the potential to ruin this entire company within the next 48 hours.
Already Moonpig have made a grave mistake by not overstaffing for this popular day. Their customer service team should have been in full swing to answer emails and calls within a minute, despite it being Mothering Sunday. Ignorance is not bliss. If a customer feels ignored, they’ll vent to the next person who listens and that hatred will spread.
In an ideal world, as soon as Moonpig realised their suppliers had sent shoddy products, vases, wine and flowers, they should have sent out an email BEFORE others were disappointed. They could have avoided a lot of heartache by giving customers the heads up, while letting customers know they were keeping them in the loop while they got the mess cleaned up. You can’t hide from the customer these days, even if it is a Sunday. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, however, and we’re all experts after the event.
I certainly hope in the future that Moonpig mark the important days on the calendar and ensure they have extra staff to cover customer queries the days before and after the date of the holiday.
What Should Moonpig Do Next?
In my opinion as a marketing director and brand manager, Moonpig should strip back the pretence and remember where they came from. Moonpig began as the brainchild of one man who wanted to please the customer and had no idea just how big the personalised greeting card market would become.
Take a hit Moonpig and put quite a few thousand aside for FULL refunds. Do not ask questions, do not show suspicion, just give these customers their money back along with an incentive to return in the future. They need that incentive to trust you again. Let’s face it, you’ll be seeking some compensation from the supplier, please, stop the greed and just give it back to the consumer.
If this was my business, this is what I would do and I sure hope Moonpig follow suit, as this is a wonderful brand that has lost its way but one that is incredible when it’s operating at 100%.
- Send a newsletter – admit the mistakes, say sorry, include a link for people to request a full refund with one click.
- If you must verify that they deserve a refund, ask for ONE picture. OR send your own couriers to pick up the broken items. (Take a tip from Amazon here, trust the customer before you receive the damaged items back and refund anyway).
- Give a FULL refund including postage and packaging.
- Add £5 credit to their account as a sorry for the inconvenience
- Send a personalised sorry card to all that asked for a refund, probably with a bunch of flowers.
Yes, it’s going to cost a lot of money but it could also salvage your brand Moonpig, it could actually work in your favour where those receiving the apology take to social media to share your thoughtfulness and compassion.
You have an opportunity here Moonpig to change public perception for the better, to admit that you’re only human and to show, that just as a human does, you care about your customers.
Consumers are not bad people, they’re not unforgiving either, as long as you show you have their best interests at heart and are listening to their concerns, they will give you a chance to recover.
Fingers crossed you and your PR company listen.