Home Centre – a very belated follow up
Before I went away for the summer I was ranting about my terrible experience with Home Centre.
What happened after my ranting really impressed me. I received several follow up calls from Sandeep Kulkarni. Probably the hardest job in the world having to call up an irate customer. I’ve worked in many call centres so I can appreciate how difficult it is. And Sandeep was fabulous. He called me twice before my goods arrived and once afterwards just to make sure I was ok. In fact, I even got a call whilst I was on the plane about to jet off to London from a secretary in the managers office wondering if I could meet them to discuss further.
I should also congratulate their agency MEC for doing a stellar job with regards to social media. Had they not followed up so intently – and I imagine this was a bigger job than just a single call or email, then we wouldn’t have got to this stage. Usually I am very anti social media given that the majority of efforts don’t focus on pre sales or post sales service, but in this case it seems to have worked.
Over the summer I was intrigued to see a big push by Landmark Group (owners of Home Centre) into the ecommerce space. Despite a rather worrying statement in the press by CEO of Splash (another Landmark division) that ecommerce is not that big in the region yet, the job postings seem to indicate that the group is doubling down its efforts and focusing on “Customer happiness and delight”.
Landmark are opting for the multi territory warehouse approach, to facilitate growth into other markets, and will outsource their logistics to relevant partners. Landmark implemented Oracle Retail solutions as far back as 2006, making it Oracle’s largest customer in the Middle East at that time.
This is the stuff great whitepapers are made of. I hope that Landmark retains MEC as its social media agency in order to build up that long term relationship, similar to the one they have with Oracle. It will be interesting to see if there is a way to integrate the information MEC will have from the front lines with Landmark’s ecommerce push. Will they start taking on more of the customer service remit? Will they merge their analytics into the backend supply chain management systems? Will we start seeing some creative social media commerce and campaigns?
With 12 major brands and over 500 retail outlets, the potential is huge.