Saturday, June 29, 2013

Some people think they can't impact revenue because they aren't in sales, but every department has an impact on revenue albeit indirectly at times. I've seen stats say the cost to get a new customer is 6-7 times more than keeping one. I agree, in fact in my case it's even more, but I digress...

I recently broke my lawn mower. It was 8 years old and i had gotten my money out of it. It was the cheapest one they sold and the rope finally broke. I tried to fix it but needed to get the lawn mowed since i had company coming over and wanted the place to look good. So after spending an hour trying to repair it I decided to replace it.

I ran to the local walmart and bought the next model up. I had always used Briggs and Stratton engines and this one was another one. I wanted something with adjustable wheels, so i splurged. I got it home, read the directions which were super simple, filled the oil, put it some fresh gas and pulled the handle. And pulled, and pulled and pulled. Then swore for a bit and pulled, pulled and pulled some more. 

After 45  minutes i realized it wasn't going to start so i spent a few minutes trying to get my old one working and finally gave up and realized my friends would just have to see my month long uncut grass.

The next weekend I brought it back, which was another whole story, but one for another day.

I went to Home Depot which was right next door since the walmart folks had me so mad and bought a different brand but still Briggs and Stratton engine. This one got home, got assembled and I pulled and pulled and pulled. After about 20 times it sputtered and I figured that it was the first time it probably just needed to get the fuel to the engine. It finally started and died after 5 seconds. 

I pulled, and pulled and pulled and it started and ran for 5 seconds. Pull, pull, pull, and die...

After having the second Briggs and stratton engine not work even once, i returned this too. This time i bought a Honda. Got it home first pull it started and mowed the entire lawn. I never plan to buy another Briggs and Stratton engine anything again. 

Let's look at this though. I'm no mechanic, but i I had to guess the first one had a broke wire or something electrical. The cost of the broken part was probably under $5. The second was definitely carburetor. Those go for probably $8. So for $13 Briggs lost a customer. 

Now if anyone from Briggs and Stratton is reading this and wondering how they can win me back I'll tell you.

1. Explain what went wrong with the quality process, and the steps you have gone through to ensure this is improved. 
2. Deliver me one and show me it working. The 2 stores I bought them from don't have any working, just boxed. Show me the one I want to buy working
3. Pay me back for the aggravation. I spent 1.5 hours, unboxing, assembling, testing, repacking the bad mowers. I spent 3 hours driving them around the lovely state of Maine. I  drove 90 miles at .51 cents a mile that's around $45, plus another 3 hours. I'll be nice and only charge minimum wage, though i make more than that . So 4.5 hours at $7.5 is $33.75 for a total of $78.75

So to lose a customer cost $8, to gain one back will cost $80..