My Blog and Shop

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Customer Is King

Many, many, years ago, when I was just a young boy, I used to spend time with my dad in his shop.  He used to sell hi-fi components, car audio systems, accessories and more.  It was a wonderful shop; located just outside the centre of Bournemouth.

As a boy, I used to love the new equipment that was for sale.  Long before the days of digital technology; not an iPod in sight.  This was the day of the first Walkman (does anyone remember the Sony Stowaway?) and portable music.
The days of turntables and cassette players.
The shop was a haven for electronic enthusiasts who bought their resistors, transistors, bulbs, fuses, cable and connectors; not in packets, but individually.  I remember the rows and rows of little drawers behind the counter, each housing many variants of components.

My dad would build a rapport with his customers, the like of which I've never seen or heard of anywhere else.  He would treat them with respect, laugh and joke with them; many times juggling two or more customers at the same time; at the end, everyone would be chatting, resulting, more times than not, in the all important sale.  The customer really was king.

I also remember, halfway up the stairs, pinned to the wall was a poster.  Similar to the one here; it has always had a lasting impression.

Years later, I still remember it, and it's a mantra that holds true today.

The shop may no longer be; indeed, many shops have fallen by the wayside; but so too has customer service.  Now, it's warehouse style stores, with indifferent members of staff; who really don't care whether you buy, or not.

Move your buying experience online, and it's a whole new ballgame.  We like the ease, accessibility, and often cheaper prices than would be seen on the high street.  Unfortunately, that comes at a cost; because now we don't look into peoples eyes; we look at a web-page.  Often designed to tempt us, but nevertheless, a static screen, with information, pictures and more to get us to spend with them.

Most of the time it all works well.
Occassionally, it doesn't go so well.

What then?

I have recently had cause for concern, when, after a free trial, I bought and downloaded some software for my phone.  It was more a utility; in that it sat silently in the background, running backups, and more.
When I changed my phone, I checked that it would still work, and their website assured me it was compatible.

Except it's not.  It won't run, there are errors and all in all; it's a total shambles. 
OK, I thought.  A quick note to their support team, to find out what can be done.

I got their standard response.
Another note was sent; with a bit more information.
I have now sent an email everyday for 3 days, with absolutely no response. Zero. Nada. Nothing.

What do I do? I'm at a loss.  I know that BlackBerry won't be bothered, simply because it's not their software.
I do know one thing.  I won't be buying anything else from that software company again.

And - if I don't hear something soon, I'll happily broadcast their name here, on Facebook and Twitter.

Customer service obviously means very little to them. 

I am obviously not a king!

Have you ever suffered bad customer service with an online store?  Was it resolved to your satisfaction?
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