Samsung, is this a Customer Delight fail?

Natalie from Section Technologies came to me today and asked if we sell printers as they had such an awful experience with Samsung that they are considering outsourcing some their printer sales – simply so that they can continue to focus on their core services without being hammered for what appeared to be a classic Customer Delight Fail. In fact, it was a Customer Service Fail.

Customer Service is doing the things that satisfy a customer’s needs. Customer Delight is going that little bit further, especially after something goes wrong (I call that saying Sorry properly). It is Customer Delight that grows loyal and raving fans.

So I replied, “Yes we do. But tell me why?”

Natalie has a client that she has delighted with their amazing IT consulting, support and maintenance. They, where possible only sell Samsung peripherals, components and printers. They have LOVED Samsung. Until this last couple of months.

Her client needed a new printer. Natalie supplied a Samsung. A few weeks after purchase, the printer died. It took Natalie over 20 hours and countless calls to negotiate a replacement for her client and a staggering 7 weeks for it to be supplied.

As a Customer Delight specialist and business owner, I understand that we all make mistakes  – all companies do. Sometimes things we cannot control cause the mistakes. Things like breaking printers, or third parties such as couriers. It’s not the mistakes that make or break a company, it’s the way the mistakes are fixed AND the way sorry is properly said that makes or breaks a company.

Saying sorry properly happens after fixing the problem in a manner that satisfies the client and often involves sending something delightful, but not always.

Natalie fixed her client’s problem in the short term by supplying her own printer to the client. She then went on to delight the client by gifting the toner use to them. Plus she installed the new printer at no charge. Natalie has all the right systems for delighting her clients.

However, when she rightfully asked Samsung to delight her, reward her loyalty and cement her support to the brand by replacing or subsidising the toner expense, they declined to help over the phone, asking her to write it all down. In her words, “That is not what I would ask my clients to do. We go over and above and not just supply what they ask for.”  Nor did Samsung attempt to say sorry properly in any other way.

I would never ask my customer to write their complaint down and send it to me either. In fact, our sorry present is usually in the mail within 20 minutes of the first unhappy conversation.

The end result? HP have picked up a new customer in Natalie. And then Natalie proceeded to tell me, an expert in the Printer and Toner market for over 15 years, plus a professional speaker in the Customer Delight space the whole sorry story.

Naturally, I wanted to share it. And so might you.

So how do you say sorry properly?


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