One of the most frustrating parts of my day is chasing around free goods. It’s an area I believe the manufacturers can grow up!!
I won’t name all the names of manufacturers who are terrible at product fulfillment – but I really DONT GET why free goods can’t ALWAYS be supplied by the retailer with re-imbursement from the supplier…..other than the obvious. The hope is that someone will order and then forget to get the free goods. That is not right in my opinion. Who wants to see an ad and take advantage only to learn they didn’t read the small print in time? It’s just not right! What if they do send in for the free stuff—-how long before it comes, and who is keeping track at the office to make sure it’s received? Is there a hope from the manufacturer that something gets lost? I doubt it, but there is WAY too much room for error!! For human error – to miss a fax (which is archaic in todays world).
Why not develop a system where free goods are fulfilled – everything including gift certificates and gifts – from the retailer. Put the onus on the relationship between retailer and manufacturer instead of end user.
The first manufacturer to follow this pretty closely is 3M – and as a street rep I am HIGHLY impressed by the service level! The customers ALWAYS get fulfillment with little hassle – and not only that they help me feel good about it as well!! They are genius! Hats off to 3M for this level of service and actually thinking like a customer thinks…..geez, why is it so hard to treat others how we wish to be treated?
What CEO of any company wants to have to send away paperwork to get something for free and then have to personally track it? Wouldn’t they demand to their suppliers to be better – or switch to the supplier to their company that just takes care of this?
We deal with CEO of Million dollar corporations every day and we ask them to track their $10 gift cards……really? really?
I KNOW there is opportunity!! Who else besides 3M is stepping up? Should I make a list? I KNOW we live in a world where this could easily be better – and by the way manufacturers, it CAN and WOULD be profitable to do this with a little more thought….
I am not saying this facitiously…this is an issue that I and many of my colleagues deal with every day. And I am PERSONALLY looked at to help make this a better experience for my customer….and I have brought this up literally hundreds of times.
Please Mr. Big (and little) manufacturer – listen to me, listen to the customer. Find a better way, and I promise it will be a rewarding experience for all….