Dealing With Annoying Customers: A 1991 Nintendo Employee Training Video

Yes, this is one of those old training videos that a lot of us had to sit through when we first went to work for one company or another, but like it or not, they did serve a purpose other than to be used as a sleeping aid. Many such training videos were used for a wide variety of purposes, but the one thing they all had in common is that they were insanely boring and showed some of the worst and best-case scenarios that could have happened during one’s shift, since the truth is that if you’ve ever worked in retail it’s very likely that you’ve had to deal with people asking for their money back, or demanding it after they found that they had a defective item. When it comes to video game systems and people trying to return them things can get a bit awkward since there are those that know just about everything about said system, or think they do and attempt to make it known that they’re the expert and you’re simply a lowly sales associate and those that know nothing but are still adamant that the customer is always right. How many people remember that saying and met people that continue to push it as much as they can? The customer is entitled to think they’re right, that’s a given, but the fact is that the customer is NOT always right since there are times when the customer is simply trying to get as much as they can for as little as possible.

There are genuinely nice customers that simply need help, don’t get it twisted and think that everyone is out to get you, but there are those that want to feel superior to someone they believe is beneath them and then there are those that want to think that they pulled a fast one on a sales associate. Nintendo obviously came up with a way to work against this since the idea that their games were defective in any way wasn’t bound to help their reputation since they were known as one of the most popular companies back in the day and still are, to be honest, and their reputation was and still is important. Teaching sales reps what to do and what to say when it comes to problem-solving and placating various customers was a great move since it eliminated the need for retail workers to state that they had no idea what to do before giving the customer a number to call in the hopes that someone could help them. The fact that there were so many small and easy steps to follow in order to fix a system or any problem with the console was amazing to a lot of people since with some folks, technology has almost always been like magic since it’s hard to understand and appears to be a very specialized practice that not everyone can understand.

But the truth is that technology isn’t difficult unless you avoid reading directions and think that you can simply power your way through anything. Directions and warranties are given with various items for a reason since the companies that made them want to ensure that the user understands the purpose and design of the item and will be able to get as much out of that item as possible. Some still like to believe that many companies purposely make their items with design flaws in order to keep making money since people have to buy the same item over and over throughout the years. But the reality is that a company doesn’t make money by forcing people to buy their products over and over, as this isn’t a good business practice and doesn’t instill a lot of faith in the company. Most companies want to turn people on to their product and spread the word, which means that their product has to work and has to be fixable if something goes wrong. There have been plenty of items over the years that have broken down and been difficult if not impossible to fix, including a Nintendo system. But more often than not, if a console went down it was due to human error rather than anything that might have been the fault of the manufacturer. Companies seek to build quality products that people can enjoy for a while, they don’t want to push garbage that will break down and tarnish their reputation.

With that said, Nintendo did a lot of retail stores a solid by creating this video since it’s likely that it helped a lot of people get through a hard day by being able to at least deliver a useful solution to those that might have brought their Nintendo products in to get their money back or get an exchange. This still happens these days, but thanks to this precedent and to support lines it’s easier to placate gamers.

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