Friday column number 89. About service

An illustrative case at IKEA, demonstrating how customer focus should work and how convenient the return process can be.


An interesting incident happened to me a couple of weeks ago. It is loosely related to our topic, so I wanted to leave this story for my blog, but on reflection, I decided to tell it in the framework of Friday's column.

In August, I bought a convertible backpack from IKEA for travel. A very convenient and useful piece consisting of a travel bag and a small backpack attached to it with a zipper. But on one of my trips, the handle by which you hold the bag when you carry it broke broke. It was not my fault for the breakdown, so I decided to replace it in the store. In general, from the point of view of returning to IKEA, everything is just super, this is one of the reasons why I bought most of the things for repairs there, and not on the construction market.



After a break in the whole apartment, I could not find a receipt for the purchase of a backpack, so I contacted support. There they sent me to the store to solve this problem. In the store, the specialist recommended remembering at least the date of purchase so that they could restore the receipt. I make most of the purchases with a bank card, so I just looked at all the transactions from IKEA for the required period and chose the most suitable one in terms of amount and date, left a statement and waited for a call back. A week later, they called me back, said that they had found a check, but the backpack did not appear on it.

Further communication with this specialist took place by mail. I sent him the dates and times of ALL transactions from IKEA (and there were about six of them) in a suitable time frame, and the next day I received slips of all checks. But they still didn't have my backpack.

With regret, I realized that I made the purchase with cash (I was surprised myself), called our store, another specialist said that you can just bring the backpack to their service department, they will check the tags, and if the backpack is really from IKEA, then they will simply replace it. Actually, everything went almost like that, except that I was asked to punch a new backpack at the checkout, and then the service simply canceled this transaction.

Using this story as an example, I wanted to show you how much more convenient the return and exchange procedures have become in our world. Now it is not at all necessary to have a check, it is enough to pay for the purchase with a bank card, and your transaction will certainly be found. And if the store comes across a stubborn one, you can always order a transaction certificate confirming your purchase. I really like this approach, and I believe that at some point we will be able to perform most of the bureaucratic operations without leaving our home. Yes, you can already do quite a lot of things like that (paying for the Internet, utilities, mobile phones, ordering a passport, making an appointment with a doctor). I believe that in the computer age, the bureaucracy has already outlived its obsolete, it is high time to move to automated and remote systems, where possible, and where impossible, to solve problems humanly, and not forcing people to run from one instance to another.

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