Technology and Customer Service

I had cause to visit my local Audi Dealership today at Cheshire Oaks earlier today. I’ve been considering a new car for some time and thought that today might just be the day.

During my visit the customer service I received wasn’t what I would consider up to scratch – I was made to feel like I was there for the their benefit and they didn’t seem to care about me as an individual. At the point I was told that I could either wait 45 minutes while the salesman finished the other quotes he had to do (and then do mine) or could have my quote e-mailed to me really annoyed me ….. so I left.

This experience made me start to question how important is customer service when accessing technology. If you want technology badly enough would you put up with poor customer service.

Take Apple as a casing point. I’m always been blown away by the level of service that I receive whenever I have cause to speak to Apple – but would I still want that new iPad, iPhone 5 or accessory if the company didn’t make me feel special?

I return to Audi, the reality is I probably still do want to get an Audi – but i’d be unlikely to purchase it at Audi Cheshire Oaks. My instinct as a customer is to shop at an outlet where I get the best customer service. I guess this is fine for a large company, but what about smaller organisations – if they are they only vendors of a product not shopping with them could be cutting your nose to spite your face.

Would you buy something from an organisation that had annoyed you or didn’t value you as a customer?

Categories: Apple, Customer Service, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Technology and Customer Service

  1. Great point that you make here Steve. You associate (wrongly or rightly) that when purchasing a premium product from a premium brand that you will also get the customer service to match. So when you don’t receive what you have perceived to be the “right” level of service, you are immediately switched off from the product and/or brand.

    This suggests that Apple have got it right and Audi have some work to do still, but is every Audi dealership the same? Its amazing how much importance we place on our first impressions of a situation, but as your account suggests it can have a profound effect on purchasing decisions.

  2. Tom, I agree with you. The Customer Service we receive is indicative of our brand perception. It either validates or it doesn’t. The greater a product is commodotized, the greater the need to either differentiate by price or customer service. Steve has “options” as to where to purchase his Audi. The web gives us access to a global shopping mall and suddenly we have choices. Personally, I always look for and reward good customer service and similarly discriminate against poor service (as per my recent post on TPG). Sometimes we don’t have a choice to “churn” to another product or brand but there is no doubt in my mind that the customer experience is going to play an even bigger role even in situations such as these…everyone is accountable to someone for something!!!!

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