I had always believed that a local commerce website like souq.com had a huge potential, but obviously running a portal is much more than just putting a shopping script in place. I wish Souq.com was a little more than that.
The success of an e-commerce website lies in it’s customer service. You place an order, trust them with your credit card and hope that your items would arrive in time. Online shoppers are a lot less patient than those who visit brick and mortar stores, and want an immediate response when they raise an aggravation. If the seller is not fast in responding to customer complaints, they lose them.
Souq.com lacks a lot in customer service. In 2 instances I had to write to them and had to wait for 2 days to get a reply. The Phone numbers are generally engaged and if you get the line through, reaching a CS agent is impossible. I gave up after a hold of 9-10 minutes each time. Going by their facebook page, I am not the only one who has experienced problems in reaching their customer service.
If your customers are on hold for more than 55 seconds, and there are many complaining about it on your facebook page, you should be concerned. It’s doesn’t do good for PR when there are angry users posting on your facebook wall and blogging.
Sure it’s the most frequented shopping site in Middle East, but then it’s the only one. They have the advantages for being among the first few in this field, but that’s pretty much the only advantage. Any new entrant in the market with a good customer service can give them a very hard blow. I can see that they are not very popular ever since they disabled commenting system ( can’t blame them too much on this as users really were abusing it). Many people who don’t need to use their shipping service are turning to free classifieds like dubizzle.com
It’s a shame that a company that has huge potential is shy on investing in customer service and overall customer experience. Without a good customer service , they will have to compete on the pricing alone, which will further cut their profits. Invest a little more in customer service, and you have something there.
What has been your experience with them ?