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Reducing high AC adapter returns

A leading provider of laptop carrying cases and bags had recently expanded its product line to include consumer electronic accessories. Brand recognition resulted in almost instant sales success. An unexpected high number of returns, however, frustrated customers and bad sentiments started to impact bread-and-butter soft goods.

OUR APPROACH

We were asked to help them understand major categories that needed to be attacked in order to increase customer satisfaction and cut overall support costs. We proposed our holistic Trifecta methodology. Unfortunately, the management was not used to dealing with the complexities of consumer electronic products. They wanted a quick fix. We were not allowed to use data (our suspicion is that there was none). We were not allowed to review other products in the line to see if there were any themes. We could only focus on a single AC adapter.

We performed a heuristic evaluation and made product recommendations. We created a quick start guide and assisted with changes to their web-based support. In addition, we proposed reviewing the tech support debug tree and creating a Job Aid to help sales messaging, but the customer was not interested in further work.

THE RESULTS

Results were focused. The duration of this effort was about four months. Our customer did realize a drop in returns and they saved about $50k on that product. The cost to them for D2 work was approximately $3.3K.

Despite limitations, we did make a difference in this product. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to impact other products, the process, or culture. As a result, ROI was not as high as it could have been but the effort did affect how this customer moved forward in consumer electronics.

THE ROI

15X - $3,300 invested; $50,000 realized

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