Presidential Pondering’s May 2022

 In News

We all recognize poor customer service when it happens to us. My wife recently ordered a product from a well-known retailer (whose name I will withhold to protect the guilty!). The product arrived in a few short days, but unfortunately was the wrong color and pattern, i.e., not what she had ordered. She called the Customer Service number. No apology of any kind was offered , but they did e-mail her a return label and arranged to have it picked up. However, the retailer would not ship her the correct product until the”wrong” product was received back at their warehouse. A week later another shipment arrives…and it is literally the same incorrect product that we received the first time. I will spare you the further details, but essentially the wrong product showed up three times, and the retailer eventually canceled the order because of too many returns! We never did receive the correct product, and are now buying it (at a higher price) from another retailer.

Contrast that with another purchase that we recently made. The item we received was the one that we ordered, but was not exactly what we had expected. This time, a call to the Customer Service line resulted in a sincere apology, an immediate refund of our money, and the instruction to “donate the item to a local charity.” Wow, what a difference!

As most folks in business recognize, customers who have bad experiences are much more likely to talk about those experiences than customers who have good experiences. Customers who have a positive experience will typically tell between 7 and 10 of their acquaintances about their positive experience. On the other hand, customers who have negative experiences will often tell 20 or more people about their bad treatment. I guess that is what they mean by “bad news travels fast!”

Londonderry Village is a business that relies on “word-of-mouth” marketing. I look at all of the applications of folks who want to live here, and well over 80% of those applications indicate that they learned of us through a friend, relative, neighbor, etc.. Essentially, the positive experiences of our current and previous residents are contributing to our high occupancy in the future. That is priceless marketing which no amount of TV commercials could ever match.

On the other hand, we are also very concerned about turning negative experiences into positive ones. Our staff are not perfect, and things don’t always go as planned. When that happens, we do everything we can to “make it right” for the person who had the negative experience. It is the right thing to do from a business perspective, and it is certainly the right thing to do for a Christian organization that tries to hold itself to the example set by our Savior, Jesus Christ..

Thanks for Listening,

Jeff Shireman, President

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