Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.
- Peter Drucker
This is a personal story about an experience with Home Depot customer service … a story of customer input. My wife and I have several large windows in our master bedroom that have nice blinds for window treatments. The blind on the largest window had an adapter that broke, thereby not allowing the blind to be opened or shut.
Mind you, the blind sells for probably $150-200, but the repair part would cost less than a dollar. The only problem was not being able to purchase the repair part from either Home Depot or their supplier. In other words, to keep my other blinds in the room, I would have to pay for a new blind for the largest window.
Once the sales clerk told us this, she also mentioned she had saved one of those parts (from a return) we needed to repair the blind, and promptly gave it to us. Very nice gesture on her part, as she didn’t have to tell us she had it.
My bottom line recommendations to Home Depot:
1. Keep finding industrious, helpful sales clerks like this one.
2. I don’t expect you to stock all parts for items like blinds … but key parts that make the item non-functional should be stocked. Don’t tell me you’re supplier doesn’t sell them … they sell what you tell them you want to buy.
3. It is not acceptable to have to buy a new $200 blind when a 40 cent part fails
This episode turned out ok … it won’t for the next customer! In my opinion it certainly calls for action from Home Depot customer service. Are they listening?
Do you think keeping a small stock of critical repair parts for your products should be part of customer service?
To know customers better and to serve them best, the most successful businesses make effective listening skills a core competency. They train and practice often.
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