The Yin and Yang of Dealing with Good and Lousy Customers
As with direct marketers, Best Buy carefully analyzes its customer base, spending time and money to lure the angels into the store and eliminate promotional efforts to the devils. It is also enforcing a 15 percent restocking fee for bad actors.
Unlike direct marketers, Best Buy cannot keep these sleaze balls out of its stores. But it can make life difficult for them while, at the same time, giving excellent service to its good customers.
On the other hand, when you have 155,000 employees, not all are smooth schmoozers or judges of people and absolutely "go by the book." The result, nice folks can have miserable customer experiences and tell the world.
Satisfied Customers vs. Angry Customers
For years I used to quote the statistic that a satisfied customer will tell three people, while an unhappy customer will tell 11 people. This was B.I. (before the Internet).
Today, an unhappy customer can go online and reach tens of millions of people around the world with an angry message.
What triggered this story was the following e-mail forwarded to me last week by a long-time colleague that directly relates to Brad Anderson's customer angels-and-devils policy.
I received several copies of this email. My own take on dealing with retailers like this: Use a credit card.
BEST BUY, MY FOOT
Best Buy has some bad policies.... Normally, I would not share this with others. However, since this could happen to you or your friends, I decided to share it. If you purchase something from Wal-Mart, Sears etc. and you return the item with the receipt they will give you your money back if you paid cash, or credit your account if paid by plastic.
Well, I purchased a GPS for my car, a Tom Tom XL.S from 'Best Buy'. They have a policy that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund!