Friday, November 25, 2005

Bad Meat

We bought some bad meat the other day. We returned the meat to the butcher and the manager promptly, and without hesitation, replaced it and doubled our original order at no charge to us. This is one of the reasons we go back to the same butcher, time and time again. We’ve moved recently and this butcher is no longer in our neighborhood yet we still travel quite some way to get to his shop. We go there because he provides good quality at fair prices and excellent service. We will always shop there as long as he maintains the current levels of quality, price and service.

What does this have to do with business intelligence? Service is one of the components in a customer satisfaction scorecard. Keeping track of how customers perceive your organization is important particularly when something goes wrong. Notice how I’m not berating the butcher for providing us with a faulty product. First of all the butcher has historically helped us with selections and good service during our visits. Secondly, sometimes a product breaks or malfunctions or in this case, tastes bad. If a business handles a problem quickly and responsibly, the problem will go away quickly and the customer will know that if an issue does arise that he can expect a quick and fair resolution.

What else can the shop owner learn from the bad meat? Why was it bad in the first place which looks at quality control metrics. Perhaps it was the wrong meat for the job? This was actually the issue for us. The meat wasn’t bad really but it wasn’t the right cut for our intended use. This leads to employee training. Did the person at the counter understand the customer and the intended use of the product? Will employees be trained to ask more specific questions as to what the customer wants? Will employees be trained to handle these types of customer returns?

Or will the entire incident be forgotten?

It’s up to each business to decide whether they want to learn from the daily transactions that make up a business day. Do you want loyal customers? If so then you need to continually train employees, manage product quality and understand your customer. All of these factors will lead to a healthy bottom line.


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