Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Great Garage Door Caper

In my prior posting entitled "Painting a Good Picture on Customer Service" I recounted a pleasurable experience that I had had with one of our local retailers. Now it's time to share a less than satisfactory experience which directly relates to my own personal real estate (home).
In October I ordered a new garage door from Home Depot here in Collingwood. Home Depot promotes the fact they they install what they sell and offered both a "do it yourself" as well as an "installed" price for the door.
At the time I placed my order, it was my intention to install the door myself but in the interim I have become increasingly business serving my clients and upon being notified that the door had arrived, decided to pay the extra amount and let Home Depot's installer handle the project. Easier said than done.
After making not one but two trips back to the store I was ultimately told they could not install the door. No reason was given but I had my suspicions. Picking up the door was filled with trials and tribulations as well, taking the better part of an hour for their staff to find all the sections to the door and the accompanying hardware, track etc. It was apparent that merchandise being held for customer pick-up could be just about anywhere in the store and not necessarily all in the same location.
Needless-to-say I was not impressed with there unwillingness or inability to install the door nor with the extended waiting period it took for them just to find it. They made losing an 8' garage door seem pretty simple. Too bad having them install it wasn't as easy.
After installing the door (myself) I phoned Home Depot's Customer Care Department to register my dissatisfaction. Low and behold I got the answer I expected. It would appear their "system" as in computer can't handle an installation request for an item once said item has been ordered. In other words if a customer changes their mind, becomes hurt or otherwise can't install the product they had purchased on their own and would like to pay Home Depot to install the item be it a garage door, flooring, kitchen or whatever, too bad, their system won't allow it.
This is a classic case of the "tail wagging the dog." I am a big user and believer in technology but it's there to support your business not dictate how you run it. I suggested their system needed to be re-programmed. When a customer is standing there with cash-in-hand wanting to pay what is one of the largest retailers in the world for their service and they can't help you because their "system" will not allow it, something has gone terribly wrong.
Business these days for many companies is tough enough. When you allow the shortcomings of your computer or data system to prevent you from satisfying a customer and generating revenue, you're in real trouble. It's time Home Depot revisited their procedures and systems in order made some much needed changes that will allow them to be a little more customer driven. There are after all, other shopping alternatives and Home Depot has all but lost me.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.