In part 1 we went through some warning signs to look out for when purchasing a new computer and how not to end up with a used computer that had just been re-boxed. So how can you get the store’s attention while making sure your ‘swap over’ experience is as seamless as possible?
More and more businesses in Australia have been jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, not only to promote their own wares, but also to pick up on any positive or negative customer feedback.
One way businesses have looked to interact with current and potential customers is by using the Twelpforce model, pioneered by Best Buy in the U.S.). In short, this involves a range of employees from across a retail network listening for questions for the company (and the industry in general) and providing feedback and advice. This could help turn an opinion, win a sale, or generally boost the profile of the store getting not he front foot.
So what does this have to do with my situation and dealing with JB Hifi?
I’m not a fan of queues, so instead of jumping on the phone and getting forever redirected, or into the store and getting ignored, I jumped on to Twitter and found the official JB Hifi account: @jbhifi. So I got tweeting:
“sigh. @jbhifi in Sydney’s Pitt St Mall/StrandArcade sold me a laptop as new, but it’s clearly been used. has other people’s browsing history”
“have to lug the thing back into the city next week to get a *real* new computer”
As I was about to give up, I received my first reply from a JB Tiwtter user based in Bankstown, NSW:
@PeterK_JBaus: “@philbyatwork @jbhifi Phil, just take it back to the store and ask to speak to the store manager. I’m sure he will help you out @jbhelp”
It only took 45 mins for them to respond. While that sounds like a bit of time in customer services time, I was able to wander away from my computer and get on with other things I had to do. Convenient.
But this wasn’t the response I was looking for. I was inconvenienced already and I didn’t want to have to take the thing all the way back into the Sydney CBD.
The second response was probably more helpful:
@ShannonS_JBaus: “@philbyatwork thank you for your patience.Which store is most convenient for you to go into? I’ll make arrangements for the swapover.#jbhelp”
After a few back-and-forths, not only had they determined to have me return it to my local JB (instead of having to lug it back into the city), but I had a name to ask for directly instead of having to wander aimlessly around for the right person.
What made this better is that this happened to coincide with a 20% off sale on Acer laptops. So I was able to swap it over for a superior, higher-spec Acer model, and Shannon also helped do a good deal on the price.
Things I learnt from this experience:
- Don’t dwell on the problem if there can be a solution – I could have just stopped at the ‘rant’ stage, but what does that do in a practical sense to get me what I paid for?
- Being able to talk to someone IRL (in real life) has a value – yes you can save a few dollars here and there buying from an online-only store or eBay, but buying from a real-life store at a marginal price definitely made it easier to get a quick resolution.
- Social media strategy/monitoring is a legitimate industry – While social media is still derided by some as a profession, people will talk about businesses on Social and businesses have to be wise to it with a strategy to resolve issues, and perhaps even turn complainers into advocates.
- Being active on twitter/social is a two way street – It’s great (fun, even) to leverage the reach of social to complain about something or someone, but if someone on the other end tries to make good, it’s worthwhile just getting on with sorting something out. Get a result.
So next time you get an bad result from your shopping experience, it’s not the end of the world. Know how to get the message across and find a way to sort it out. Most times people on the other end are just trying to help, so don’t let the odd bad egg ruin it for everyone.
Oh, and shout-out to Shannon (@ShannonS_JBaus) from JB Hifi in Hornsby, NSW, who did a great job helping to sort this out!