The Importance of Customer Service

I’ve sent my Mac Book Pro back to Apple twice now. The first time it was a DOA Superdrive and they replaced the entire machine. This week I sent it in for repair due to a presumed faulty lid latch that is causing the system to wake inappropriately from sleep. Oh, and I found out that when Apple replaced the first system, they did not automatically transfer my Apple Care protection to the new unit.

Given the above, why am I still a happy Apple customer? Actually, a very happy Apple customer. No, it isn’t because my expectations have been pounded into the ground by other customer support experiences (though more on this shortly), but for two good reasons. First, the user experience–the design and functionality of the product–is superior. But equally important, I have had excellent interactions with every Apple employee I’ve encountered in dealing with the above issues. They’ve been uniformly pleasant and helpful. And here’s the important part: I feel like it’s all about ME, the customer in these interactions. They want me to be a happy customer and it shows in how they approach the problems and solve them.

This in stark contrast to my local cable company. Let’s call them BOMBAST. Yes, sure, their “product” is over-priced in my view by about a factor of two relative to what it is worth to me personally. But that’s the secondary issue. With BOMBAST, pretty much every encounter I have with their customer service people is all about BOMBAST, not about me. They seem far less interested in helping me than in detailing their various policies that prevent them from doing what is in the customer’s best interest. Not that they are at all apologetic about not being able to help me. I assume they have a policy about that, too.

Well, you say, it isn’t fair to compare a computer company to what is essentially a utility. Supposing you are correct, I will then point out that I really like my telephone provider, Verizon. Again, because of the quality of their customer service. Even utilities can be pleasant and helpful and care about their customers.

If I didn’t live deep in the woods with virtually no clear southern exposure at all for satellite access, BOMBAST would be history in our household. For now, I dream of FIOS and a day when it might carry cable video content to my area.

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One Response to “The Importance of Customer Service”

  1. Computerworld's IT Blogwatch Says:

    [Trackback] Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s IT Blogwatch, in which Intel’s Core 2 Duo desktop CPUs benchmark v. fast, and we discover that the IT worker of 2010 won’t be a technology guru. Not to mention artistic visualizations of a web page’s structure……

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