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Rachiel Dian Santua

MBA 103- Business Communication


16 February 2015

Case: Farberware Products of America


Point of View
Director of Customer Service
Problem
What strategy to consider in response to the complaint of the customer with regard to
the defective Grillmaster? How should this be communicated?
Objectives
To be able to formulate strategies in response to the complaints and include this in the
memo addressed to the President through vice president of sales and marketing and
communicate this strategy to the customers through a letter
Areas of Consideration
1. Managers occupying junior-to- middle level positions in a large organizations are
often called upon to resolve disputes
2. Customer has a value to an organization and lifeblood and source of revenue to
a business
3. Dealing with customers requires patience, tact and a certain measure of skill
4. Angus MacGregor, the customer, sent a complaint letter that expresses his
anguish on the defective product
Alternative Courses of Action
1. Customer Service and Sales and Marketing Departments should schedule a
meeting to discuss the issue. They should also invite the Assembly
department to discuss what went wrong to the product itself and what can
they do about the defects to avoid the same incident to happen again.
Meanwhile, they have to replace the defective Grillmaster to soothe the angry
customer. There must be an additional item to be packaged as well that
would be helpful in grilling. Refunding the purchase amount can also be done
if the customer chose to.
Advantages
Disadvantage
This is not a problem coming from the This would be a long procedure and
customer service instead it came from angry customers are impatient.
the assembly department who made
the products. They must collaborate
with the right people so to
troubleshoot what problem should be

answered and what solution can the


company do before communicating it
to the president. The Sales and
Marketing Department knows very
well the behavior of the customers
and more exposed in dealing with
their needs thus more knowledgeable
in coming up a strategy to answer the
angry customer. The participation of
the
assembly
department
is
significant so they may know what
they can do about the product and
what remedy it can give to suffice the
concern.
2. Prepare the necessary action to answer the complaints of the customer
based on the judgment of the department without consulting the other
departments that might help in solving this. The most appropriate and
immediate that the customer service can do is to ask the sales and marketing
department to pouch a new and functional Grillmaster.
Advantage
Strategy will be formulated instantly
as it needs not approval from other
departments before forwarding it to
the president.

Disadvantage
The consensus of the decision is not
gathered with the other concerned
department. The strategy that might
formulated will not exactly what the
customer is expecting.

Recommendation/Conclusion
I recommend alternative course of action number 1. It is best to work with the other
departments that have better knowledge in handling this kind of complaints and better
idea would come out if taken out from different point of views. Please see exhibit 1 for
the letter to be mailed to Mr. Angus. The letter assures the customer that his concern is
an utmost concern of the company. This also confirms that the company is willing to
take responsibility on the defective item, either to replace the item or refund the
purchase amount.
We all internally recognize that even great companies cant build and ship everything
perfectly, but its just so frustrating to be the person on the receiving end of
dud.Showing empathy to the customers situation thus becomes very important,
following with an immediate explanation of how the company is going to fix the situation.
While long, it completes three important objectives: it empathizes with the customers
frustrating experience, it explains what the problem might be (instead of having a
customer assume, we make crap products), and it offers a clear and immediate

solution. Depending on what the company sells and how it conducts business, it might
also add, or should I send you a full refund? Either way, know that in this situation its
the ability to relate with a customer that counts.
Im sorry is a mandatory response in these situations. Consider the Im truly sorry
about that as a personal apology to the customer that the experience wasnt up to their
expectations, not that a certain personnel is to blame. The company should
sympathize. As one might have guessed, many times angry customers are just as
interested (if not more interested) in hearing that someone empathizes with their
situation over getting the actual problem fixed. Even if one cannot understand a
customer, one can imagine how hed like to be treated if he happened to be that upset.
Even small phrases like, I understand how upsetting that must have been, can have
an impact on getting the customer to realize that the company is on their team in this
pursuit to make things right. Its hard to come up with a perfect solution for a customer
in this state, and know that even if a customer service representative handles things
perfectly, some people simply cannot be appeased. It should not stop the customer
service from making their best effort.
The company should apologize like a human being, not a machine. Does anyone feel
like his call is important when he get this message? Were sorry; all our operators are
currently assisting other customers. Your call is very important to us; please wait for the
next available operator. The company should keep that in mind. Apologizing is an
enormously powerful customer service tool. It doesnt have to be anything fancy,
someone should just say that hes sorry and he wants to make it right. He must not hide
behind corporate speak or act like a machine when dealing with an angry customer.
Instead, treat the customers like friends. That means apologizing and meaning itnot
simply delivering a canned apology speech. That means personalizing your treatment
for themnot trying to fit them in a one-size-fits-all-but-really-fits-none solution.

Exhibit 1. Letter to the Customer

15 February 2015

Director of Customer Service


Farberware Products of America
P.O. Box 11743
Manitowoc, WI 55617

Mr. Angus MacGregor


312 Bay View Road
Portland, ME 02175

Dear Mr. MacGregor:


Thank you for your letter on 08 February 2015. We are so sorry about that, thats very
disappointing! We are deeply concern when one of our customers not satisfied with one
of our products. Our company takes great pride in trying to produce only top products.
There might have been a slight mistake in the manufacturing process, or perhaps it was
damaged while being shipped. Unfortunately, we sometimes fail.
We will examine the defective Grillmaster immediately so we may know the problem
on our product and we will replace it with a new one. However, if you prefer, we are also
willing to refund the purchase price to you. Meanwhile, we have prepared an exact
replacement and expect that delivery will take place within this week. As soon as the
item is for pouch, we will telephone you immediately and will arrange a convenient
delivery time.
We do apologized and are pleased to have the opportunity to put things right. We are
sorry to have inconvenience you and offer our apologies.

Sincerely

(original signed)
Rachiel Dian Santua
Director of Customer Service