Replacement Part not in Stock

Replacement Part not in Stock

We have all been there staring at an appliance that is not working and we know subconsciously that we are entering the world of shoddy on-site service.  If you have been through this experience you will actually recognise that there are in fact six steps to a really poor call out.

Step 1 – Scheduling the Appointment: You ring the company to schedule an appointment and all they can tell you is that they will have someone out between 9:00 am & 5:00 pm either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, so you had better be there when they turn up!

Step 2 – Warranty Invalid: If you do happen to be around when the technician turns up (normally you miss them because you have nipped out for five minutes) the first thing they are likely to point out is that the 5-year warranty that you thought you had does not apply to this incident.

Step 3 – Poor Purchase Decision: next the technician will tell you that you bought the wrong model.  “Is that the 950 series? … ah no, you should never have bought that…. the old 850s’ were so much better, the problem with the newer 950s is that they put cheaper parts into then… you should never have gone with that model…”

Step 4 – Failure of a Critical Component:  Having found out that the warranty is invalid, and you purchased the wrong appliance, the next step in the process is to find out that a really critical component has failed.   You know this is going to happen when you observe the technician doing the following.  There is a lot of fiddling with the machine, under the breath muttering, pulling things apart and then the dreaded long intake of breath.  With that, the technician will solemnly announce that he has found the problem.  “I was hoping this would not be the case but your hyper-compressing flux capacitator (HCFC) has blown”.

Step 5 – Difficulty of the Repair: That is when you find out how difficult the repair is.  “…. It is the one thing you don’t want to go wrong on these machines because in order to get at the part you have to dismantle the chassis, decompress the flanging twist condenser and then remove the rocker grunion before you can get at the mounting for the HCFC unit.”

Step 6 – Part Not Available: This is the point you find out that the technician does not have the required part.  “We have had a lot of problems recently and the part is simply not available… I’m not sure when we are going to get them back in stock”

Which brings you back to Step 1… trying to schedule a follow-up appointment and praying that the technician brings the HCFC unit for a 950 and not the 850 series.

I have in my many years of working with various organisation and consumers noticed that nobody gets very excited about service, yes, it is a necessary evil but most people prefer to talk about the brand or the product.  So, if nobody likes service then why do we do it?  Why do we torture customers when by sending out engineers to fix machines that they don’t understand and don’t have all the parts available to fix it?  Would it not be much better to build customer experience into the very fabric of the product?   So, product design engineers here is a challenge for you… why not build your products to be made up of simple modular components.  If a component breaks it is simple for the user to order a new component, swap out the old one, send it back and swap in the new one.  That means you don’t have to schedule appointments, you don’t need to maintain a fleet of mobile engineers and you can make the repair at your leisure back at base.  The only thing you have to make sure is that you have all the parts available in stock. 😊

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