Here at CarBur Computer Solutions, we believe that customer service is a very key element to our success. A company doesn't need a separate department with a separate phone number to provide you with service.
What does this mean to you?
No waiting in long lines to get to someone behind a counter, who doesn't understand your frustration.
No wasted time making phone calls to technical support, only to find an automated system.
Here is a good example of what I am talking about, it's a true story:
A couple I know went to a very well known electronics chain in Springfield and purchased a computer system. This all took place about three years ago, anyway, the system they purchased was top of the line then and was not by any means inexpensive. Spending this much on a new computer system, they opted for the "protection plan" to protect their new investment. Three years go by and one day they realize that their monitor is no longer operating, so they dig up all their receipts (because nothing is valid unless you keep all of your receipts) and look at the terms of their protection plan, they find out that the plan is still in effect and all they need to do is bring in the defective part for repair. So they made the trip into Springfield to drop off their defective monitor. After waiting in line for about 20 minutes or so they finally get to the young man behind the counter, who looks at the 3 year old monitor, looks up at the couple with a look of disbelief, as if the monitor is something he had never seen before. After another 10 minutes of filling out paperwork, the couple asks the young man behind the counter how they will know when to come and pick up the monitor and the young man says "oh...we will call you when it's done". The couple leaves thinking a few days, a week at the most...right....wrong!
3 months go by, count them three months and no phone call. The couple fed up with the lack of service by now, which who could blame them right?, decides that they are going to call to see what the problem is. They dial the number and go through the automated system to get to the "customer service" department, only to find out that the monitor is fixed and they can come pick it up. Good news they get their monitor back...3 months later. Now one thing I didn't mention, it's hard to use a computer without a monitor right? Right...it's impossible, luckily I had an extra monitor and let them use it while their monitor was getting fixed, now what if I didn't have that extra monitor, well they would have been without use of that computer for three months, would you be able to go three months without your computer? I know I couldn't, no e-mail or internet.
So, I have five questions:
1) Why did it take 3 months to fix?
2) Why didn't they call when the monitor was fixed?
3) What good did that "protection plan" do?
4) How long would it have taken them to fix the defective part if this couple didn't purchase the "protection plan"?
5) Why do these larger chains need a separate department and separate phone number to provide customer service? Is it really that hard to provide service to a customer that you need a specialized department?
Want to see my answers to these questions?
1) Because the larger chains are in business to sell products, they don't want to fix your old products, even though you bought the "protection plan", they want you to buy a new system, along with a new "protection plan". Now these big chains can sell things at lower cost to you because they buy in mass quantities but is it really worth the frustration?
2) Because the young man that filled out the paperwork sent the defective part to the main service department which is probably located in another state, once it was fixed and returned to the store, the young man was not aware that it was back, do you think he really cares how long you have been waiting? I bet not. Maybe the "customer service department" should track these kind of things?
3) I have nothing against protection plans, they are a good thing, really. The bad thing is that so many large chains do not follow through on these plans or service, that it has made a bad name for these plans all around. Do not be afraid of these plans but be weary of who you purchase them through.
4) I would hate to see the answer on this one.
5) Well, I used to work at a large retailer such as the one in this story and their reason is to provide the customer with organized personnel that can resolve issues related to service. I disagree completely...I think you get better results when you deal with the same person you dealt with before, instead of a different person every time you call. Could these departments be a shield for them? The more obstacles a person has to overcome to get results...the more tired that person gets...the more tired that person gets...the more willing he or she is to give up his or her quest for results!
The moral of the story...you shouldn't have to pay for service, it should be free. It seems that most people don't think about service until they actually need it and by then it's way too late! You won't get it! Sure it is cheaper to buy some products from the large chains but is it really worth it? If you think so, by all means buy it from them but when it comes to service, go to someone who specializes in service.