Time is important. The way you view your customer’s time just might be the most important part of your offering. Three recent interactions over the past week underscore just how important this is.
Apple Has Great Support
I mentioned in a post the other day that my daughter had been contacted online by a fraudster offering support. She called me in before paying the fraudulent charge, but I still went to Apple to make sure we were doing the right thing. Apple was easy to contact. My daughter’s system is not new. In fact, it’t time to upgrade. But contacting support was easy, fast, and free regardless of the date I made the purchase. Using the online chat software I had my answers in less than 5 minutes, and the instructions on what to do were easy to follow.
American Airlines Calls You Back
My airline travel was down last year due to more online programs – so I lost my chairman status (USAirways). As a chairman member I always got immediate service. Now that I no longer have the privilege, I have to wait in line like everyone else when calling in with a problem or question. Last week was my first call into the now merged AA and USAirways company. While the wait time was over 15 minutes, the automated system did take my cell number and call me back. This is a great service for support organizations that don’t have to give immediate assistance. Sure enough, about 30 minutes after I placed the call they called back. I was connected immediately without being tied to the phone listening to hold music and marketing announcements.
Quickbooks Makes You Wait
On the other hand, I had a Quickbooks App issue this morning. My first contact was with a woman who didn’t really speak English. Make sure your people speak the language of the people you support. I’m okay with a slight accent – we get that between northern and southern US. Not a problem. But this was “Broken Engrish”, and very hard to understand.
She must have asked me 3 or 4 times which version I was using. For some reason she didn’t understand me either. When we finally agreed that I was on a Mac using the App, she told me I needed to talk with the online support team. Before placing me on hold she informed me that Quickbooks does not allow the support team to call out. So waiting was the only option.
18 minutes later I am on the phone with online support. When I told him I had a Mac with an App, he simply said, “You have to uninstall it and reinstall it. We don’t support the App.” When I complained that the first person should have told me that, he insisted that he had told her to tell me that on the phone. I’m sure he did, but for some reason she did not relay the message. He apologized for wasting half an hour of my day and we hung up.
Computer support is critical. Most of us spend the entire day doing something on a computer. If you’re in the managed services business your clients should be support contracts, not T&M, and the support should be nearly instantaneous. If you support the security side of your client’s business (which is a must these days) your response time is even more important. The good news is, fast, quality support is worth paying for when you make money using a computer.
© 2015, David Stelzl