There are some companies where employees do not really care whether you have a bad buying experience – either acting completely unapologetic or worse, making you feel like it’s all your fault.
Not so with Lenovo and Starbucks.
After my recent buying experience with Sony I bought a Lenovo laptop. And just like Sony they ran out of parts for my laptop just before their promised ship date. Unlike Sony, they are the ones that alerted me of the manufacturing delay. The email was very apologetic, gave me an option to cancel my order if I could not wait, and offered me a free gift for the inconvenience if I decided to stick with them. Guess what – I took the free battery and was not in the least annoyed with the delay. In fact it made me feel good about the way the company was dealing with customer problems. Because at the end of the day, you know that something will always go wrong – and it’s not the fact that something goes wrong that makes you lose customers – it is the way you choose to deal with those exceptions that affects customer loyalty.
The same happened at Starbucks this morning. I was in a bit of rush and found out that they just started brewing the dark roast and that it would take 4 minutes to get my coffee. Watching coffee brew for 4 minutes is an eternity. I was a bit miffed – thinking that maybe Starbucks’ employees had gotten infected with the same bug that is plaguing their neighbor . Sensing my unhappiness, all three employees at the store this morning found a way to apologize, and one gave me a coupon for a free drink the next time I visit a Starbucks. Even the coupon apologizes – telling me that they hope that my next Starbucks experience will be a good one!
Guess who I have talking about all morning?
OK – enough about customer service now, let’s get back to marketing…
…but wait…isn’t this marketing? 🙂