In the last few weeks, I have had three experiences with suppliers. One delighted me, one disturbed me, and one disappointed me. Let’s learn from each of them.
First, Delight. While purchasing an item from Best Buy, I asked the sales person if there was a way that I could get a lower price. She explained to me that if I could show that I met certain conditions, the price could be cut in half. But, I had to have the appropriate documentation. Upon returning to the store with the documentation, we accessed the system and were told that I wasn’t eligible. The sales person and the customer service person overrode the system and gave me a credit. Petty cool!! I stopped later on and told the sales person that I gave her a good review online. She noted that she had seen it and thanked me.
What can Best Buy learn? First, that whatever they are doing is working. I will return them for future purchases and recommend where appropriate. Clearly, this is something that can be done in person that would be hard to do online. Hooray for brick and mortar. But, an extended learning might be, really reward that sales person. If someone gets all 10’s and a great review, more than just a “pat on the back” is in order.
Second, I logged on to my investment account at Ameriprise, to discover that one of my investments had lost two thirds of its value. Upon further exploration on my part, I found out that there had been a stock split. When I contacted my advisor, he suggested to wait a few says for the Ameriprise system to catch up.
What can Ameriprise learn? First, if there is a problem, telling someone to wait a few days to see if it will be magically fixed probably isn’t the best suggestion. But, worse than that in this world of financial immediacy, having a system that needs a few days sends a message about how the company approaches the financial world. If there is a change in the market, is Ameriprise’s response, to wait a few days and see what happens. Is that a company I want to manage my money?
Lastly, I work with a business tools company. I will let them remain nameless. Periodically, I meet with their top management. These vice-presidents and directors are always interested in how their product is working. So, I told one that I was having issues with one of the packages. His response was “well, you must be using an old template; you need to use one of our new packages”. So, I went to use a new one. It did not have the capabilities of the older one. When I noted that to their management, the response was “we haven’t quite worked the kinks out of the new one, I’ll pass this along. Maybe someone can do something”?
What can this business tools company learn? First, if you want my opinion, really act on it. Offer to set up a call with one of their experts. Give me your personal email and ask that I provide further documentation. Additionally, they should have a formal case system. In the second situation, we should have opened up a case and followed it through. When I have a problem now, I don’t bother to talk to anyone. I just move forward on my plan to replace them. I really don’t think they care.
Want to improve your business? Here are three things you can implement:
- If a customer is delighted, reward the delighter (s).
- Understand that your systems reflect your business.
- If you get negative feedback, work to solve the problem. Avoid excuses or obfuscations. Create either a formal or informal system to get the feedback to the developers or support personnel
How do you handle customer feedback in your company?