This is another in a series of articles I decided to start writing a while back calling out brands for doing the right thing when it comes to CX. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and I’m even a big fan of learning from our (and others’!) bad CX practices. You’ll notice I don’t name names when I write about poor CX, but here it’s the opposite and I endeavor to highlight those who get it right.
Today’s entry is Schlage locks. You’re likely familiar with this ubiquitous brand, and may even have a lock or two of theirs in your home. This story with them actually goes back quite a ways and it occurred to me recently because I was in the market for a new lock for our garage door and the decision about which one to buy was basically a no-brainer—all I had to do was decide which Schlage handle and lock to buy!
We’d had a Schlage programmable keypad lock on the front door of our house since we bought it years ago and never really thought about it…a good trait in something so important. When it started to malfunction last year, randomly beeping and the tumbler releasing unexpectedly, we presumed it was a dying battery. But when we replaced it, the beeping and erratic behavior persisted. I’m a tinkerer, so I popped it open to ensure that there weren’t any pinched wires or anything, but didn’t see anything glaringly wrong, what with my completely untrained eye. So I called their support line expecting to ask for—and ideally receive—some insights and even a solution. The lock was still operating otherwise normally, and our home wasn’t in any sort of danger of breach, so I was able to approach the situation with good humor and curiosity.
Surprisingly, and quite suddenly, the rep on the phone asked me my address and announced that she’d be sending me a new lock altogether. What? Oh, I’m sure this is no longer under any sort of warranty, I told her. But she insisted, nope, just take a picture of the sticker on the inside of the face-plate of the lock (to verify that I actually had a Schlage lock), and we’ll send you out a replacement. What finish would you like? I was floored!
I hadn’t asked for a replacement, and hadn’t even called looking for one, but rather some advice as to what I could do to fix my issue. I had already resigned myself to the possibility of having to simply buy a new one anyway, but hadn’t mentioned it. The Customer support rep simply had the authority and established process in place to replace my lock, no questions asked. In about a week (c’mon, it wasn’t an emergency, and it was free!), I received my new lock, and installed it with no issues at all.
Not long after that, we had an issue with the lock we have on our house in the mountains (not a Schlage), and there was no question about it: I went right out to the hardware store and picked up just the right Schlage we wanted for the place and popped it right on. But the story doesn’t end there.
Our neighbor across the alley was out in her backyard a few weeks ago and I in mine, and we were chatting back and forth. She was having an issue with her front door lock and asked if I could take a look at it. I have no idea where she got the impression that I had any sort of expertise in such matters, but I was happy to take a peek. Right away I saw her Schlage and, shock to me, I was actually able to help her out with it (it was a little wobbly and needed to be tightened back up). She then mentioned that she had been having some more fundamental issues with its operation and without hesitation, I told her: Call them. I shared my experience and, although not promising anything, suggested she may get the same treatment.
A week later she texted that she’d actually received two (one also for her back door) new Schlage locks and that the process had likewise been slick and friendly.
Last week I was going into my garage at home and the tumbler from the (non-Schlage) deadbolt literally came out with the key. I was locked out of the garage with no way to get in other than to go around the block, through the alley, and through the big garage door. (Thank goodness that hadn’t happened on the house!) I was in the market for a new lock.
Guess what brand is on there now…