The gap between brand and reality is something we talk about a lot with our clients.
I was a fan of IKEA. I think their business model is fantastic and they seem to be a company that has a sense of purpose.
Not an IKEA fan
Since last week I had to revise that completely. We had a new kitchen installed in Spain. We picked IKEA because we were fans of the brand. We had expectations because of their brand.
What followed is a litany of mistakes, an old kitchen dumped in the community garden for a few days, incompetence, non-communication (you can’t get customer service on the phone and the installer did not speak English), bad, bad (no) customer service, missing parts, parts that don’t fit, and a week later we have kitchen that is still incomplete and appliances not working. Including the cooker, which is sort of fundamental to a kitchen.
Even the pans we bought had to be brought back because the screws did not fit. To put insult to injury, returning those pans took over an hour in a queue in customer service to resolve. There were 50 people queueing before me when I pulled the number. Which means that I must not be the only one with complaints, no wonder they can’t answer the phone.
It was a classic example of EVERYTHING going wrong with a customer experience.
Contrast that with a company called Envirocare in Spain, which at the same time installed a new boiler, a new electrical panel and helped us out with some of the plumbing the IKEA installer could not manage (!!!!). Responsive, easy, frictionless and with a bit of delight. The way customer experience should be.
Suggested reading for IKEA
I am going to hand over a number of books to the CEO of IKEA in Spain:
- Reputation economics https://www.ronimmink.com/reputation-economics-and-business-models/
- Loveability https://www.ronimmink.com/love-is-all-you-need/
- Social customer service https://www.ronimmink.com/social-customer-service-inside-crm/
- X: The Experience When Business Meets Design https://www.ronimmink.com/shared-experiences-are-the-new-search-the-risk-and-cost-of-not-staying-relevant/
It might help. I even throw in a free Bookbuzz session.