Customer Support and the appearance of support is important in all aspects of business. I started out when I was 16 as a crew person for McDonald’s in 1976. It was all about QSC, or Quality, Service and Cleanliness back then. I have since then read biographies about Mr. Kroc and have seen his approach to that end. It was a lesson learned for me. The same themes have run through all the jobs afterwards, including how I take care of my customers now in the K12IT field.
I give my best everyday to make sure the customer is taken care of, to make sure they are happy. I take it personally when they are not, but I know I can’t satisfy everyone all the time but I still try. It is important to make sure things are done right and the end users are taken care of. By doing my best to get things right, then making sure that it is right for that user with a personal touch or acknowledgement of their concerns.
That is why it amazes me that a company or head of a company will have a presence on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, then not provide the smallest of responses to support an issue. I have two examples just recently that stand out. The first is a recent purchase I mad from Dell for a Sony HDTV. I called support after the purchase because my wife read from a link on the web site not related anywhere in the purchase process that the person on the invoice had to be the person to sign for the delivery. That doesn’t work for me because I work two jobs, sometimes 3 and would not be able to schedule a time to be home.
When I called I got a support person that did not speak English well that I could barely understand. I explained and he was not very helpful. I ended the call and then sent a personal message here to Michael Dell because he seems to post weekly to explain my concerns. I don’t expect my problem to be fixed by the founder, but I would expect him to be concerned enough to write back to that effect, if only a one line response that he had read it and would send it to someone who could help. That is poor response.
To top it off, I got an email the day before Thanksgiving telling me that Dell Support had tried to contact me about my order (2 day after I received it) and had not gotten a response to the call on my phone. That is not true because my phone number they quoted in the email was the correct one, but my phone has no record of the call or a voice mail. 3 days later I did receive a voice call from Dell Support, again a Non-English speaking person. Because I have already received the TV and was able to solve the issue of delivery with the 3rd party shipper via a phone call I no longer need to speak to Dell. The customer service for Dell has dropped considerably since my first purchases years ago.
My second support issue came last night when I was trying to recommend a product that I use myself, but had not realized that a feature, Word Count, was not ported to the iPad version. Such a simple feature not in such a good product that can be in the iPhone or iPod touch leaves me scratching my head. But what gets me is that this company has a twitter presence and is continually tweeting about their product. They also have a “help” account on twitter, so that to me would mean that they want to “help” you via that account. Because it is a holiday weekend, I am not naming them yet, as I want to give them until tomorrow to respond. But, their regular account is on auto tweet for Sales and being mentioned as being nominated for Most Useful Tablet-Based App in the Mashable Awards. Whether or not it’s a weekend or holiday, you should have at least one person watching the “Help” account to respond.
Customer perception drives sales just as much as good prices, sales or good looking stores and web sites. If you don’t give good support, you are hurting the rest of your business. it is a fact that an unhappy customer will talk about that poor experience exponentially more than someone who is happy. You need more happy customers to to make a positive presence.
One bad apple spoils the bunch means a lot in business.
from Ray Ebersole – Google+ User Feed