Customer service is the one point where it is so easy to win the loyalty of consumers or chase them away forever.
In 2006 we ran a survey on customer service in technology-related industries with the objective to find out what effect positive or negative experiences with customer service have on customer loyalty. Here are some of the voices:
“I could say I was a fan of the Sony brand and whenever I bought consumer electronic devices Sony was my choice. I needed a new laptop computer and called the Sonystyle store to place my order for the laptop that was sold to me as ready to ship. I waited for a week and did not receive nor hear anything. When I called the store they couldn´t give me any information on when the laptop would ship. It wasn´t until 4 weeks, 2 letters and multiple phone calls later that I found out the model I ordered was no longer available. Since sony was not able to fullfill their contract and had caused me quite some anger I suggested to send the updated model which had more system memory and a different operating system. They thought about that for another 2 weeks and decided that they wouldn´t. I send a letter to sonys president telling him about my negative experience but never heard from him. … a couple of years later I have replaced my sony tv, my computer, my stereo, my camera, my mobile phone, my laptop with products from other brands. My loyalty to the sony brand has changed into a loyalty towards my vow to never again buy a sony product.”
“My DSL provider was acquired by another company. I received a letter announcing that there would be no change in my DSL-account and that no interruptions of the DSL-service would occur. One day about a month later I needed to send a number of e-mails but was unable to access the Internet. I spent the whole day calling the service number of the provider. When I finally reached a customer service representative I found out that the new comapanies name was added to the username used for the DSL access. It would have been so easy to send out that info to the new customers. A month later I had a billing question and called again. Once more the hotline walked me through different menus only to tell me that lines are busy and that I should call again later. This time I quit after 10 attempts and sent a letter to cancel my subscription. I don´t think it´s right that a large and successful corporation takes the liberty to waste my time in this manner.”
“I was looking to buy a new computer and gathered information on the Internet. I needed some information about dual-monitor use so I filled out a request form on the HP Internet site. I received an answer within 2 hours. Even though my questions were not completely answered, the fact that HP offered pre-sales consulting and answered my request in such a timely manner gave me a good feeling about the company and I ended up buying the PC.”
Sometimes it´s the little things that make a difference. Especially for companies that sell their products through resellers, customer service is the only opportunity to leave a personal impression and establish a personal connection. For large corporations it takes a marginal effort to provide good customer service, yet management´s focus on cost-cutting often keeps them from seizing the opportunities in customer service.
We offer an assessment of your current service level and involve you and your customers in finding creative and innovative solutions that present added value to your customers. Our approach in customer service is relationship-oriented. We want to help you establish long term customer relationships.