• Graham Henrickson

It Was a Good Idea at the Time

I am amazed by how often I respond to an offer by major company only to be let down. Failing to deliver on a promise not only causes consumers to feel disappointment and frustration but it damages your credibility and can destroy trust in your business/brand.

Why is there a lack of attention to detail today? Is it because those who generate the ideas get all the kudos, while the people responsible for bringing ideas to life go unrewarded?


A great idea is no more than a thought bubble without a well-prepared plan for execution that has the buy-in of all key stakeholders. Unless full consideration is given to the what, when, where, how, who and why of implementation, a brilliant idea could cost you dearly....... Here’s an example:

I recently had to buy a new clothes dryer. So, rather than heading for the nearest Westfield or Home Centre, I turned to Google. I soon discovered it wasn’t as simple as I thought. The first challenge was to decide on the type of dryer - vented, condenser or heat pump? You’d be surprised how many retailers provide little or no information to help consumers make this decision or highlight each type in their range.




I chose to stick with what I knew and could afford; a vented clothes dryer. The next challenge was what brand, followed by where to buy. It was then I discovered I could buy a factory refurbished dryer on-line from a major retailer of electrical and white goods and make a significant saving.


So, I placed my order and received an order confirmation. Three days later came an email to say sorry there was no stock. It included an offer to purchase the same dryer brand new for an extra $38. If I didn’t respond within 48 hours my order would be cancelled and a credit/refund issued.


I replied and accepted the offer the same day. While I waited the washing piled up around me. A week passed and as I was running out of things to wear, I decided to call. But, without a contact to call it took considerable effort and an hour to find the someone in the organisation to help me. It was bad enough to send an order confirmation only to advise it couldn’t be fulfilled a few days later. But to make an offer that would keep the sale and generate goodwill without the infrastructure/process to honour it was just plain stupid.


Having a contingency plan is smart thinking, but without a process to implement it is far from it.


The good news is the dryer finally arrived. It took over two weeks and was a lot for it to do when it arrived and I’m pleased to say it’s worked perfectly ever since.