Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Now Dixons Chief Exec emails back - its catching on..

The story so far: I have been trying to get the new CEO of Dixons to explain to me why shopping at Dixons doesn't work.

9.45 pm update: I forwarded a copy of my last post to Dixons Chief Executive so that he could discover why the company is losing customers.

TIP: Remember if you're emailing the Chief Executive do it at the weekend or late at night if you want a personal reply (see previous post - Chief Executives love their Blackberries).

This time (and almost immediately) Dixons CEO emailed me a personal (although perhaps little over-used) reply;

I am not sure what I can say. I get a lot of approaches that I cannot directly reply. What I do is read all the complaints sent to me and I am using them to help work out how to fix the business.

My apologies that I have not been able to correspond directly on your issues.

Yours sincerely


Well, fair play, he is using complaints to 'help work out how to fix the business' and he's still reading his email at nearly 10 at night.

Unfortunately judging from my experience the business is unfix able, so Mr Browett should put his Blackberry aside and get some sleep. The sale of technology products is based on 2 fundamentals - price and knowledgeable service. Dixons group don't do either. They can't even run a web store successfully - despite their enormous buying power. What they do offer is a high street showroom where canny shoppers can go and see in the flesh the product they plan to buy cheaper online. In store their sales staff treat the customer with little more than contempt.

Contrast with John Lewis. JL has realised they can't compete with online retailers on price alone - but they can offer knowledgeable customer service and free extended warranties. So you might just leave the store with the product anyway; confident that if things go wrong John Lewis will still be there to help. Try taking something back to Curry's or PC World - or just take a look at the queue at the PC World 'Tech guys' counter - that should convince you you'd be better off shopping anywhere else.

Anyway in fairness to the Dixons chief executive - who's burning the midnight oil trying to work out how to fix the business, I reply:

Thank you for your immediate reply. Your personal directness and openness is exactly what customers want to hear when things go wrong - not some more nonsense.
Good luck with the enormous challenges you face. You are clearly fully focusing your energy on them.

you're a frustrated Dixons, Curry's, PC world customer perhaps you'd like to send him your suggestions on how to 'fix the business'. His email address is hard to find, so here it is:


Late at night is the best time to catch him, but please be gentle; he's probably had a long day.


AK said...

Just what I needed. No point in going through customer services to get fobbed off. Always hit the top players!

Anonymous said...

If you actually waited in the queue or asked a majority of those customers waiting angrily in line at PC World at the TechGuys desk, you'll find that it's full of people that have caught malware from illegal downloads or porn sites, or that they don't know how to fix their own mess and want a technician to fix it for them. For free of course, as the customer is always right and it's always the store's fault that someone's kid is downloading illegal content or viewing less than reputable websites.

On the other hand, there are those customers with genuine faults which the technicians are happy to help.

It would be very much appreciated if stores like PC World were recognised for their excellent staff, not just for the few bad experiences that the minority have had.

As for believing you have the right to go 'straight to the top', why is that? What do you think that customer service departments are trained for? They are there to filter out the utter nonsensicle arguments that far too many 'customers' have, in a friendly manner and to give help those that are entitled to the help. The 'big boys' at the top are their to run the business, not wipe your nose when you're not happy.

The Chief Executive said...

I welcome all comments on my adventures in consumerland - even anonymous ones.

DSG International is in the business of selling things to customers - that's how they turn shareholder's investment into profits and dividends. Since last year DSG has managed to turn a share price of 120p into today's value of just 32p and have issued 2 dire profits warnings this year. This massive fall in revenue is because they have forgotten how to sell stuff. Responding to customers needs and fulfilling their orders are useful strategies in retail - oh and not treating your customers patiently waiting in line with complete contempt. Any business has some good people working in it - the problem when things go bad is hanging onto them.

Anonymous said...

The point of view there is absolutely valid and is very much appreciated. I should point out though that the technical staff at DSGi don't treat patiently waiting customers in complete contempt, they are the 'prefered' customer. One that understands that staff are equally mere mortals and have no Harry Potter magical powers or use Flux Capacitors so that repaired products can be sent back in time to the point which the customer broke it free of charge :-)

Have yourself a good evening.

Anonymous said...

get yourself a life uncle jerry!

you got rinsed!