Like most consumers, I first began my research of a product online. This time it was for my next coffee home brewing system. I zeroed in on Keurig and explored the different features, functionality, and price-points on their website. Once I narrowed down my selection I located a local distributor (Bed Bath and Beyond - we always get their mailers with a 20% off coupon) and went and made my purchase.
Fast forward 6 months - to a Monday morning of course - and the Keurig dies on me. Later that night, I contemplated trying to return it - but couldn't find the receipt. I also never fill out the warranty information that always accompanies products likes this.
So I thought I'd do some troubleshooting myself. First stop - Keurig's website and the Customer Service page. After 2 unsuccessful attempts at recommended solutions I resorted to the 800 number.
A Simple, Straight-Forward Process
To my surprise and enjoyment, this was a simple and straight-forward customer service experience:
1 more troubleshooting exercise - no results
Provide the rep with the serial number
Series of simple questions to verify ownership
When did you purchase?
A few more questions
Name, Address, Phone, Email
Phone call ended - a series of 3 emails trickle in - free replacement Keurig on its way.
- Order confirmation
- Detailed return instructions
- Shipping notification / with tracking information
Lessons for Manufacturers that Sell Through Distribution
- Regardless of where I purchase your product - I am interested in learning about it online from your website. You are the manufacturer and should be the trusted source of information.
- Product Information (Features, Benefits, Options, Comparisons, Spec Sheets, Pictures)
- Product Configurator
- Pricing / Reviews
- Distributor Locator
- The last resort is picking up the phone
- Make pertinent information available and easy to find
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Easy to follow How-To or Troubleshooting Guides
- A direct number to Customer Service that is easy to find
- A simple and straight-forward phone call
- Customers want results and fast
- Only ask relevant, direct and simple questions
- Don't overcomplicate a simple process
- Don't SPAM our inbox
- Keep communications simple and relevant
- Through this process you (as the manufacturer) now have my (the end users) information
- This is valuable information - take advantage of it.
I'm not expecting this to occur, but I would love to see a follow-up email from Keurig 6 months into my new brewer asking if my brewer is still performing as expected. Or perhaps an email at the X month mark with a recommend maintenance routine.
Ideally in the Internet of Things (IoT) world - their future devices will be connected and have sensors that proactively trigger the necessary events before a failure occurs on Monday morning :)
A satisfied customer that will continue to use the Keurig Brand. The Customer Experience is key to understanding how businesses should implement or align new processes and technologies.
Have you had great customer experience with a brand? What other lessons would you add?