The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
By Alec Hogg
Got an excellent lesson in customer relations yesterday. After struggling to conquer a particularly tricky tech challenge, I’d been advised to acquire a supersized USB stick which cost the equivalent of R700. A couple hours later, Apple’s help desk discovered the version I’d bought (3.0) was too advanced as its system only worked with earlier models (2.0).
On returning to the store brandishing a till slip, the 60-something cashier immediately suggested because the packaging had been opened, the store wouldn’t be able to re-sell it so wouldn’t exchange it. But she’d call her manager anyway, just to confirm. It wasn’t only her boss’s 20-something appearance that showed he came from a different era.
He never asked why the swap was required, simply smiled and replaced the USB for the older version. And because it was cheaper, handed back a third of what had been paid. His decision cost the store the price of a USB, but it secured a customer for life. The cashier’s approach would have lost one forever.
Interesting how, in business, the little decisions make the biggest difference.