Monday, October 25, 2010

In search of good customer service

I spent this past weekend writing a letter to a door company, complaining about their customer service. Now in reality it didn’t take me all weekend to write the 5 page letter, but I did spend most of the weekend fuming about how bad their support is and thinking about how important service after the sale is.

You see we tried to call the local office and they did try to help, but they either were too new, or didn’t seem to care.  Trying to find a contact at the corporate office seems darn near impossible. You see I can email, by filling out a form, or call the 800 number that seems to just go to the dreaded, on-hold music, with the occasional “You’re call is important to us, though not important enough that we are actually going to answer it” message. (I’m paraphrasing their message a little bit)

Now maybe I’m biased because I’m used to the good customer service I get at work. So I decided to test it. I mean let’s be honest I can walk upstairs and talk to the phone support team, since they are in the same building as me. We don’t outsource support since we truly believe that there is nothing more important than our customers, we want to make sure that we support them properly.

Of course I can call support, their numbers are easy to find, and I know most of them for the last 10 years, because we’ve worked together that long. (The actual average tenure is 12 years).  When I do need to call them, someone answers the phone that actually knows something, rather than making me recite my support contract number and offering to have someone call me back that knows something. Being able to talk to someone right away that knows something that can help me, is very cool.

I can also call the VP of support, of course, anyone can because his email and phone number are on the website for anyone to call. Our CEO also gives out his business card with his number to any customer that visits. I’m not sure how often he gets called, but I’d guess not very often. When everyone in support knows that an unhappy (or happy) customer can call the CEO they tend to make sure that everyone is happy.

So maybe I should just accept the poor service I get from the door company and realize I’m just spoiled. Or I can take my business to a company that actually cares and demand good service. If we all did that, think how much more pleasant our weekends could be.

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