A customer complaint is a genuine opportunity for a company, because it offers the chance to improve service or eliminate a deficiency. Gigantti, the Finnish electronics company, clearly has room for improving how it handles complaints like the one I sent to their customer support people. I had ordered a computer by phone for pickup at a store. Although my order was confirmed during the call and by email , when I drove the 20 kilometers to the store, I discovered they didn’t have the computer. Another store did have it, but the salesman said that only the department manager could arrange for transfer to this store—and he was on vacation. In my complaint, I asked whether in the online age Gigantti truly needed the manager’s involvement, with its one-week delay, in order to complete a sale. In their reply, they said they would…pass my complaint along. When I checked again two weeks later, their email reply said that they regretted the delay—and told me that my complaint had again been forwarded to someone. Then I got an e-mail from yet another Gigantti person, who was clearly starting from square one. I sent him the entire correspondence. Yesterday, 23 days after I placed the order, I got a message that the computer was available at the store. “We hope this will satisfy you.” Alas, this hope is in vain. To seize the opportunity that a complaint offers, you need to act quickly, respond coherently, and address the customer’s concerns. And you need to cut out slow, unhelpful processes.
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