Back when we were building Streamline, we had a Board Member (let’s call him Jim) who advocated that we occasionally mess up a customers order on purpose. When the customer complained we would then ride to the rescue with a guy on a motor bike all dressed in yellow who would swope in and save the day. His logic was that the customer would be so relieved that we would make this huge impression and the customer would love us forever.
I think of this because today we got power back after Hurricane Sandy. It was only off for 24 hours but that was long enough for me to realize how much we rely on electricity and I am grateful for having it back. So does this make me love NStar more? Should NStar take away power for every customer for 24 hours every year? Absolutely not. I can only think about how they screwed up the whole recovery effort. The hurricane wasn’t their fault but how they handled the response left a lot to be desired. I won’t go into that here but that brings me back to Streamline. Was Jim right? No way. Our goal was always to fulfill a perfect order for the customer but when things like a big snow storm intervened and forced us to cancel deliveries our customers weren’t happy but they acknowledged how much they loved us and relied on us. Then we moved mountains to get our customers their orders as quickly as possible. When the mistake was ours they weren’t so forgiving.