The following post will tell you:
1. How to change negative customer experience into positive one?
2. How to negotiate when you’re angry customer?
3. Why providing options is much better than apologizing?
Broken laptop story
Everyone knows this story: spilling drink on a laptop and now it’s down - happened to me.
As soon as I’ve realized my laptop is not working I took it to post-warranty Apple service – iClinica (here’s the link. tl;dr these guys are recommended). I was told it’s going to cost me about $400 USD to fix the charger and a motherboard. I was ok with that as I didn’t want to spend money on a new one.
After one week, I’ve got my Mac back, the service got me a 1 year warranty for the repair. Laptop was working fine until it stopped charging up again.
I took it to the service again, explained the whole situation, mentioned it should be reimbursed by 1 year warranty given by them and waited. Until I got the e-mail back:
“Hello, there must be something with a battery, maybe it has also been flooded. It will cost another $65 for an old one or $150 for a new one. Please let us know which one do you prefer.”
Frankly, this pissed me off. Not only I’ve already paid for the service and expected a repaired, fully-working laptop, but also I was supposed to pay additionally. So-called professional service priced it beforehand, so I was not willing to pay a dime for new repair.
I’ve replied, explaining how dissatisfied I am:
“Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, this is not something we have agreed to. I was told the repair service costs $400 USD. If it was higher, I would have bought a new laptop. I’ve put my trust in you here. You were supposed to do diagnostics, pricing and repair of the device as you’re professionals. I’ve already paid for that and now I have to pay for new battery. I guess in 3-4 weeks again I would have to get something new? This is what I’m expecting: a working computer. It is not what we’ve agreed for. My claim is simple: I want my computer working – in the same way as it had already worked. No additional charge”.
I thought: nothing good will come of it. I will pay anyway, give them a 1 star rating in Google and obviously post some shit in social media. Casual: “1 happy customer tells 3 people; an unhappy customers tells 10 more” (fun fact, with social media your magnitude is kind of 10^3. Gary Vee mentioned that in his “Thank You Economy” book)
Here is how their reply looked like:
_“The motherboard has been repaired and new problem is not associated with that. The battery was working at that time. If it didn’t, we would have replaced it and charged for it. The warranty doesn’t cover the parts, which were not repaired…
That was my trigger. I was angry again, until I’ve read the latter part:
_…However, considering the facts, we have decided that in this case, to make it right to you and to make it up for confusion, we will replace the battery with used one, which wasn’t heavily used before. We hope that this solution is satisfying for you.”
Ta-dah! It was just the right thing to do. Immediately, my customer satisfaction skyrocketed. I’m not bashing them in social media anymore! Quite the contrary, I will write a positive blogpost on them.
I’ve replied that I’m satisfied and happy for the positive answer and got the very nice, brand-positioning message back:
_“We’re also glad as we value our customers satisfaction first”.
That is what you expect from Apple-like post-warranty service!
They did their “Customer Experience 101” homework. The thing is, these guys actually cared and proved it in action. The battery probably cost them, reducing their margins, but in the end, they got something far more important – real brand equity.
Why I’m writing this here? Because I want to present this case study and put in the broader context, so we can drive a lesson from that.