Peter noticed that several of the 25 Lutron Maestro dimmers he installed three years ago while renovating his 120 year-old home had started to fail. The dimmers were expensive, $30 a pop, so Peter sent them back to Lutron expecting some sort of response. Soon after, one of Lutron’s product managers called with a seemingly innocuous question…
I would like to tell you an incredibly positive customer experience, because I feel like there are so few out there.
In a renovation a few years ago, I installed ~25 expensive Lutron Maestro switches – they are these dimmers that slowly turn on and off your lights and remember the dimmer setting you left. Anyway, these are $30+ switches. Compare that to the 50 cent standard switch.
Regardless, three years after that renovation, a heavily used switch started to fail. Then another, and then another. Based on the pattern, I thought that about three more might go out on me. My house is almost 120 years old and I have original switches from when they first wired this house that still work to this day. Three years for a $30 switch was outrageous!
I packaged up my three switches and sent them to Lutron expressing my disappointment and my concern about the next three switches. I did not hear from them right away.
Much to my surprise, I got a phone call from a product manager at Lutron. He talked to me about my problem, and told me that they had a defect with some of these switches and that he would replace the three I sent and send another three for the ones I thought might go. He then asked me how many I had in the house and when I installed them. I told him I had about 25 and that they were all installed at the same time. He said that was interesting.
A week later, a package arrived in the mail. It contained 25 brand new switches! That’s about $800 worth of product!
What’s amazing to me, is that as an individual homeowner, my total lifetime value to Lutron could never be that much. How many renovations / builds does one person go through in their entire life? If I were a contractor or designer, sure, I’d potentially be of high value to Lutron. Nevertheless, they chose to serve their customer in the best possible way, and that to me deserves to be shouted from the mountains. Why do only squeaky wheels make noise? We should be sure to celebrate the great stories as well!
Don’t doubt the value of goodwill. Lutron could have replaced the dimmers as they failed, or not at all, but that wouldn’t have earned them a shred of respect. By taking the extra step and owning up to their defect they secured a customer who is willing to share his positive experience. Excellent response, Lutron!