I have always had a positive image of Home Depot. That’s why I have returned again and again as a customer. Maybe it was due to the help I received and the support on what I was building …or at least attempt to. In the end, I had always found what I needed and one would say that the brand had a strong trust value with me.
Then I stood in the yard and watched a delivery person re-load the washer and dryer that had been paid for back into the delivery truck and speed away.
Frustration and anger doesn’t begin to cover my feelings nor the things perhaps I was saying under my breath about the brand in question. I’m confident that this was not the experience that the CEO of Home Depot was hoping.
In the driver’s defense I’m sure they are on tight schedule. After dealing with logistics and been part of hundreds of meetings over the years, I can appreciate how challenging just-in-time supply chains can be not to mention packed schedules.
As I looked at the pile of laundry and wondered how I was going to explain this to my wife, I started to reflect on my new company and the three ways in which this company had failed their corporate strategy.
1) Thinking about the customer first
There’s zero gain in pointing out the customer’s mistake to the customer. Supposedly there was some sort of document that was to have been received when the items were purchased. Making reference to the fact that I should have had a document explaining a process I didn’t have and then not having this document themselves was needless to say not helpful. What’s the benefit of pointing out to a customer that on this one element you’re right and they’re wrong? Perhaps it made him feel better but it certainly was not helping my mind set or my feelings about the brand.
2) Executing on a brand strategy
This delivery had been a challenge to start with for my wife and I. It had taking over three weeks and we had to reschedule our days. The fact the store’s location is a 15-minute drive made this even more vexing. Home Depot had done such a good job throughout the process and then, when it came crossing the goal line and make the actual delivery, they just fumbled and lost all my goodwill. If you do all the legwork to get that far in a transaction and functionally can’t deliver, what was the value of all the work done in advance? They drove away not only with the washer and dryer, they also had my piece of my brand loyalty.
3) Your outsourcing partner is your company
The driver in question didn’t have their banner or logo on the van but they were carrying the product from the company. My time was deemed less important than theirs. It felt as if someone in an orange shirt and pushed me and then kicked sand in my face. This was the final touch point in this purchase. What I certainly didn’t feel was any level of delight in this interaction. The excuse that it’s been outsourced falls on deaf ears.
Will I go back to Home Depot? Of course. I like the staff, store and products. However I will think twice on purchases that will not fit into the trunk/boot of my car.
Originally published on Linkedin.