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Customer service is dead… long live customer service

III logoI used to work for a company called Information International Inc (III or Triple-I) in the print industry. Customer service was king. The people at Triple-I would bend over backwards to help clients. Many of the customers were newspapers and if you know anything about newspapers you will know that yesterdays newspapers is worth nothing. A newspaper must come off the printing press at a certain time or else it is no good to anyone and loads of money will have been lost. Part of the printing process means that suppliers must deliver customer service…. they must help their client get the news out. Sounds simple ?

I then worked for Tandem computers, again customer service was king. If you know anything about mission critical computers you will know that the computers must not stop. Again a big part of this is the customer service people and their attitude. Sounds simple ?

Then via compaq and Dec I ended up at Sun Micro. Again, customer service was a big thing….
Sounds simple?

Well customer service is a team game, it takes energy, effort and dedication. It takes time to build up customer service….. and when you do …. you get a reputation for it.

Now let me contrast this with recent experiences. I seem to have a habit of sniffing out people who just do not want to or believe that customer service is too expensive and that only price matters.

Ryan air believe that their customer service is their low prices. You pay nothing and therefore you should accept nothing. If you get stuck, tough and if you want something extra well then be prepared to pay for it. I have flown with many airlines and I just can not believe how bad they are. They seem to make a point of it. To me it seems that they want you to know that you will be treated badly and therefore as you expect this….. then you will not complain as it is pointless. I have seen Ryan air in action…. and I am not impressed.

Earlier on in this Blog I posted my experiences with BT… shameful.

And now for my next….. I recently tried to buy some software from Dabs4work. Oh brother, they made it so hard. You can only email them or use their chat system. These are fine if you only have simple issues….. Hey hold on a second…. I tried to order some software…. that should be simple? Right ? No!!!

To cut a long story short I failed in my attempt to buy the software I wanted, first due to an address problem and due to the fact that they would only answer emails after about 10 working hours…. Work it out… if you need to send a couple of communications it could take 3/4 working days…. In the end the issue was resolved…. but the Item was out of stock!!! So I then tried to buy the same software unbundled…. and guess what? I ran into the same address issue !!!! This could have been so easy to sort out…. but the chat people would not help…. so I decided to write to the customer service manager….. still no response!

End Result AMAZON £1600 – £0 Dabs4work

Yes I put the business with Amazon. Thank you Amazon.

Dabs4work have irritated me so much that I tell everyone how bad they are. And with this Blog posting…. even more people will find out.

In my early days we were always told that one unhappy customer will tell 7 others. That is the magic formula. If you upset enough people then you will end up killing your own business.

So let us examine the title of this weblog:

Customer service is dead… long live customer service

More and more companies are going for the cheapest, low cost route. Ryan air and Dabs are perfect examples of this. Maybe they looked at Ebay and have “understood” the model to be cheapest is best. But the detail they have missed is the rating system. The actual Ebay model is Cheap but with good service – in theory at least.

It will be a sad world if we can only deal with companies via email… at some point the idea of “service” will have to comeback. I for one will pay a bit extra and I will avoid the likes of BT, Dabs and Ryan Air.