What a difference

a day makes!

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Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

Do you ever find yourself drowning in a problem, struggling to make sense of someone else’s draconian regulations. Or do you get caught in a social media sparring war with a business who can't see they've made a mistake? If this sounds familiar, then you need to know that sometimes the dawn of a new day can bring fresh perspective and make something previously insurmountable easy to achieve.

Apple and chips

This is what happened to me recently and for anyone who witnessed my outburst on LinkedIn aimed at Apple and Hardsoft Computers, might like to know how it ended. If you remember, I took to social media platforms to express my disgust at how they had handled the lease of a new Apple iMac. Whilst no one could do anything about the worldwide shortage of the necessary chip, the other issues, including a complete lack of customer service, prompted my meltdown.

On 5th November 2021 I ordered a new iMac (i5 6-core 3.3ghz with a 2TB SSD) through HardSoft Computers. I was told delivery is usually 3-4 weeks for a 'custom order' such as this (the lease company can add in RAM themselves, but the 2TB HD must be put in by Apple and imported from Europe). The next update came at the end of November, when my order was held at customs. Evidently it was dropped and smashed and according to Apple the reorder necessitated a delay of 7 weeks.

I realised I couldn’t solve it on my own. So, thanks to having access to lots of wonderful business contacts and their brains, there were suddenly options I could pursue to get the right result in the end.

Be a good communicator

January passed with little update from anyone. Although I was good at communicating with HardSoft, the same couldn’t be said in reverse. But it appeared that the order was being pushed back to end of Feb and then out of nowhere this quickly became 30th March. It was at this point that I decided enough was enough.

I included relevant Apple senior bods in my rant on Twitter and LinkedIn highlighted how their systems were damaging their brands. Plus, I even copied in @JoeLycett for his consumer complaints programme, but all to no avail. However, the owner of HardSoft Computers, and the boss of my contact and weekly phone buddy, responded and seriously raised his game.

Apologise and act promptly

His response was swift, apologetic and all about finding a resolution that I would be happy with. His proactive response was also surprising. Not only was a new machine going to arrive sooner than 30 March, the next day in fact, but it was going to be a better machine than the one I had originally ordered. And as if that was not enough, he realised that his systems and processes might need to be tweaked and his customer service levels improved. He informed me that he was going to personally double check other back orders to ensure that there weren’t similar issues to my own that could be easily rectified.

A matter of perspective

The lesson I learnt in all this was powerful. Today’s problem might just be that; an issue which with fresh perspective might be solved tomorrow. I think that what was key to me was working out that I couldn’t solve it on my own. So, thanks to having access to lots of wonderful business contacts and their brains, there were suddenly options and other channels I could pursue to get the right result in the end.

All this has proved to me that bad communication can cause serious repercussions and if you have an opportunity to speak to a human, things can be resolved quicker. So, if you know you have unhappy clients or suppliers, don’t let them chase you, pick up the phone and speak to them. Listen with a view to finding a solution which they will be happy with. Remember you can turn a situation around, so take it. And if you are an unhappy client or supplier my advice is to shout loudly and publicly, go big when it comes to your demands and do not settle for anything less than you deserve.

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