How not to do customer service
When I set up Dianthus Medical 10 years ago, I have to confess that the idea of setting up a business was a little scary. One of the things that gave me the courage to go ahead anyway was the observation that so many companies seemed to be incredibly badly run, and yet still survived, so how hard could it be?
I've just seen another fantastic example of that. 3 years ago, I bought an expensive fridge-freezer from Zanussi-Electrolux. Just 3 years on, that expensive fridge-freezer has broken down. That's annoying. They really ought to last longer than that.
So, even though it was out of its guarantee, I got in touch with Zanussi-Electrolux to ask if they would pay for the repairs anyway as a gesture of goodwill, as I naively thought that they might also think it's unreasonable for their fridges to break down after just 3 years. They said no. They also made me laugh by saying "[we] trust you will not be deterred from considering Electrolux products in the future". Well, at least you have to give them marks for a sense of humour.
One thing that I've always thought was desperately important in running a business is looking after our customers. It's something I've put a lot of effort into. We like our customers to be delighted with our work, but if for any reason they are not, then we'll bend over backwards to put things right.
If I ever start treating Dianthus Medical's customers the same way Zanussi-Electrolux have treated me, please can someone just shoot me.