The sales guy tells you how awesome their product is. And guess what, he says their customer service is even better.
“Just give us a call, and we’ll take of everything for you.” What could be better than that?.
You take the product home, and a few months later, it breaks down. So you call up the customer service folks. Hopefully, they are helpful and don’t ask you too many questions. They pick up the product (or have you drop it with them) and get to work. Promises, apologies, and comfort words are said. You go back happy.
Now, to me, that’s just part I. If the product works as advertised post-repair, all’s good. But, if it breaks again (and that does happen!) and the Service department is struggling to fix it – that’s when you really know how good their service is. Here are a few typical scenarios:
They start hiding behind fine-print and make it our problem – did we use it right, did we maintain it right? Some hide behind bureaucracy – “I’ve done everything I can, but this part is not available and will take a lot of time.” They ask you for more data, more tests – it has become your problem now. When I come across this kind of service, I never buy their product again
Say it as it is!
Some service teams are honest and tell you the truth – uncomfortable as it may be. For instance, I had someone attempt a chip-level fix on my laptop. While taking on the job, the engineer let me know there was a chance it would break again. And when it did, he recommended discarding it and even offered help with recycling. Such folks build relationships over time – you know they have integrity and are good at the job. So the occasional failure is tolerated.
Go into “superman” mode!
The best service teams go into “full ownership” mode when a repeat failure occurs. They assign their best technician who personally tracks your problem to closure. They are super communicative – in fact, their service level ratchets up by a magnitude. With such service teams, you generally become fans.
So the acid test for me is this. How do companies handle repeat failure? I’d prefer the third for big purchases and the second for third party support. What about you?