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Handy Andy, Inc.

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1.Is this a customer service problem? Why or why not?

a.Why is this a customer service problem?

It is a customer service problem because ultimately it is reflecting poorly upon the company and providing customers with poor and inadequate customer service. The distributors are lying to customers to inflate sales. The distributors are not rendering adequate customer service all of which whether direct or indirect is associated poorly in the customer’s reflection and association with Handy Andy’s product (the trash compactors)

b.Why is this not a customer service problem?
It is not a customer service problem because this is service associated with the distributors. The distributors are not in house. They are not part of the organization. Therefore poor customer reviews and on the service should be handled by the distributors and not Handy Andy.

c.This is definitely a customer service problem. Even though it is not Handy Andy directly at fault. Now that it has been brought to their attention that the distributors are reflecting poorly upon the company, the problem needs to be dealt with. First, the organization should not be openly endorsing or allowing the distributors to blame the Handy Andy by falsely stating that items are currently out of stock to inflate overall sale revenue. There should be a message sent out to all current customers stating that there are no stocking issues/shortages. Secondly the distributors need to be contacted and told to either correct the bad “culture” within the sales teams an the installation and service people or the business will be taken elsewhere. The main problem when everything is not controlled in house is the loss of oversight and direct contact with customers.

2.It appears that the factory distributors are exploiting the licensed retailers. Yet from what we can tell, Handy Andy in St. Lois has heard no complaints from the licensed retailers. Why wouldn’t they complain?

They might not complain because this has been falsely inflating overall sales revenue by “pushing” higher priced models. It is a win win for distributors and retailers.

3.What should Handy Andy’s marketing vice president do? Why?

Handle the situation and do not let it get any more out of control than it currently is. This sounds the brewing of a perfect storm for customer service and relations. It is ultimately reflecting poorly upon the company. The V.P. should make the distributors and retailers know that this behavior is unacceptable and Handy Andy does not endorse this kind of business in relation to its valued customers.

4.In the case is the statement, “The factory distributors in these few cities indicated that they, not Handy Andy, Inc., stood behind the one-year warranty.” Is this a problem for Handy Andy? Why or why not?

This is a problem. It is not the distributors issuing the warranty. It is Handy Andy’s warranty given to the customers as a testament to stand behind their product. This is not a third-party warrant that is sold at say a used car lot. Again, this reflects poorly on Handy Andy and how they value their customers.

5.Bixby, Booher, and Ortega recognize that Handy Andy needs a better way to learn about the buyer’s installation experience. One alternative is to add an open-ended question, dealing with the installation experience, to the warranty activation form. Another alternative is to e-mail a brief survey about the installation experience within three to five days of receiving a warranty activation form. Which of these alternatives should Handy Andy choose? Why?

I would suggest just the electronic survey via e-mail. It is simpler and the data can be more easily analyzed to develop trends. The problem with open-ended questions is that they are open-ended and unless there is a mass amount of people with the same exact responses there is not real data to be quantified or analyzed.

6.Discuss the pros and cons to allowing Handy Andy trash compactors to be sold only through licensed retailers (i.e., factory distributors would no longer be able to sell to consumers.)

Pros: It would be all in house. The image of the company could be more controlled and Handy Andy would have more oversight of the company image and its customer service.

Cons: More labor, More costs. This would substantially cost Handy Andy a lot more money initially than using already existing distributors.

7.Is it too late for Handy Andy to attempt service recovery with customers who reported a less-than-satisfactory installation experience?

It is never too late to show a customer and demonstrate to them that the company values their business. If anything it would help regain the image that the company should have.

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