Good morning students, welcome to Business 101.
Today’s lesson will describe in detail what not to do when dealing with your customers. This is a case study on how a company can take a good customer and lose them forever in just a few short steps. We will be using the Capresso company as an example because they have provided a real-life example of abismal service that is so bad it almost sounds like fiction.
A bit of case history here: Capresso first had to make a good product to create a good customer. To do that Capresso must make at least one quality product that is assembled correctly. Our case study consumer purchases an Capresso Infinity grinder that works well and they are very happy with it. More on this later in today’s lesson…
Our consumer purchases a second Infinity grinder and gives it as a gift. The recipient is pleased, but puts it to use the next morning only to find that no matter how hard they try, they can’t get any coffee to grind. In our example, they don’t want to bother their friend, so they literally spend hours trying to find the obstruction or the mistake they are making.
In our case study, Capresso has allowed a product defect to reach a consumer that creates a huge amount of frustration for the user. They have wired the grinder motor backwards! The grinder motor turns, the coffee bounces around, but no coffee ever gets through to the bin below. In addition, it is nearly impossible for most consumers to tell which way the motor is supposed to turn. In our example, the original purchaser has a second identical grinder to compare it to, so they are able to determine the exact nature of the defect.
Most consumers are tolerant of an occasional defect, and the consumer in our case study is no exception. He calls the Capresso company to get the unit replaced. Since this is the only time the customer is communicating directly with the company, it is extraordinarily important to show them exactly how much you value their business. If you don't value your customers it will really show. This is where Capresso completely failed to provide even minimal support.
Capresso, like so many other companies puts customers on hold and plays a “Your call is important” message every 15 to 20 seconds. They take this annoyance a step further and simply dump the customer into a voice mail system if they hold on too long. In this case study our consumer tries again and again and finally reaches a live customer service representative. The situation is explained, and the rep puts our customer on hold, only to come back and tell them that they had never seen a motor wired backwards before and would not replace the unit. This brand new, defective out of the box grinder would have to be sent in for repair! Of course the next request is for a supervisor, but one is not available, so a manager’s name is requested. He calls back and asks the receptionist for the manager so he can discuss this problem, and the receptionist tells him that no complaints are accepted over the phone, they must be submitted in writing!
Students please take note here:
This pattern of customer communication truly indicates to customers the value a company places on them. Unfortunately for Capresso, our case study customer has tried repeatedly in good faith to resolve an issue cause by Capresso's lack of quality control, and those attempts have been deliberatly frustrated by the company. This customer will never be back.