As you would expect, I enjoy writing about when we delight customers. While I am quite proud of our “batting average”, there are times we miss the mark. I felt I owed you the same level of disclosure when we miss as when we delight. What follows are a couple of recent incidents, what we did, or our doing about them, and my sense of our customer current state of satisfaction:
Door Damaged on Delivery: Our products are delivered to our Denver warehouse and subsequently to jobsites very well wrapped and protected. In this instance, there was damage to a door frame that was discovered only after installation. This meant the door had to be removed, a replacement frame ordered and received, and door panels installed. SolarGlass handled the reorder and the labor associated with picking up the damaged frame, prepping the replacement and delivering the replacement to the jobsite. The elapsed time was approximately ten days. Our customer had additional labor expense related to the second installation and asked us to reimburse this expense. I declined to do so and stated that in construction projects, unfortunately, things happen. We happily incur the expense of fixing things as soon as possible. However, the product manufacturer does not offer a labor warranty nor reimburse us for such costs and we are therefore not in a position to reimburse for the time delay and added expense. My explanation was not at all satisfactory to our customer and I can understand why. The truth then is that while I believe in Service Excellence, in the eyes of this customer, we are being hypocritical … In our defense, I work hard to maintain the level of profit margin that funds our “best in class” service department so that we can minimize the impact of situations such as this one.
Large Sliding Window in a Bedroom: We sold and installed a very large window in a bedroom that featured a picture window in the center with sliding window panels on each side. The overall unit was 8’ wide and 5’ tall. In this particular home, the wall condition complicated the installation and the bedroom window backs to open space and faces the prevailing wind. The combination resulted in wind noise and a level of air infiltration that our customer found unacceptable. I visited the home and noted some installation details that could be corrected and addressed the air infiltration issue. However, given the wind and the use of the room, it was my opinion that a casement window that cranks and seals with a lock lever is the window that should have been sold. Since I felt SolarGlass was not at its best as a window replacement consultant, I offered a replacement casement window combination to be installed at our cost. In this instance, the customer is delighted that we would so aggressively address their concern.
Scratched Glass: One of our best contractor customers installed a very large window in a bathroom. The homeowner noticed lines in the glass that turned out to be scratches. The cost to replace the glass would have been very high. Our manufacturing partner offered a credit in lieu of replacement glass and the homeowner accepted the offer. The thing is, we sell a premium product from what we believe to be the best North American window manufacturer. At least for a while, every time the homeowner looks at the window, they will see the scratch. Thus we have resolution, and maybe even satisfaction, but not Service Excellence.
What do you think?