Enhancing Tech Service: The Critical Role of Customer Experience
Sound Support Arrangements Matter in Technology Deployments
I had a technology issue recently, and it reminded me of what customer service from technology companies really means – or doesn’t mean. I have to say, my experience was very mixed – and not overly positive.
Whilst travelling in Sydney, something weird happened with my phone.
I was first notified of the issue when one of my health contacts called me because they had received a notification I was in trouble and had pushed the SOS button. They continued getting notifications even though I was not pressing the buttons. I hadn’t done anything differently. As is usually the case, my phone was in my pocket, and I wasn’t using it any differently.
Something was wrong.
A Visit to the Tech Store
So, I went to a well-known technology company’s store in the city centre. After a long wait in line to speak with the triage person at the store entrance, it quickly became clear that my appointment with their geniuses would be hours away. When I finally got to sit down with someone, the answer was to reset my phone to the factory settings.
Given I was travelling and moving around the city from meeting to meeting, I wasn’t carrying my backup drive with me. I don’t use PowerPoint for client meetings, so I don’t carry my laptop with me. I headed back to my hotel to pick up my laptop and return to the store to undertake the reset, but without a thousand cables with me I was ill-equipped to manage a total restore on the run. Fortunately, the staff loaned me the necessary equipment.
Customer Service Issues
Well, my store expert looked very antsy, and just as it looked like we were making progress, he had to take a break. “But I’ll speak with my colleagues so they know what we are doing, and if you need any help, just ask them”, he said as he quickly walked into the back of the store – without speaking to a soul. (This appears a common complaint against younger staff members – there is a tendency not to consider the needs of the customer as more important than their own.)
I appreciate that the staff at this store did their best to look after me. However, while waiting for the reset process to finalise, I had the opportunity to listen to those around me explain their issues. It was clear the fixes needed were simple and didn’t take very long. Each engagement was around 10 minutes at most, which explains why they rotate their staff on a 15 to 20-minute cadence. The store’s support system is not designed for extended problem solving, and the promised “I’ll come back and check in on you” did not happen when my original staff member returned to the floor.
When I help executives select a new technology platform, including an ERP system, two key selection criteria are cultural fit and support arrangements. The aim of that selection process is to ensure the support system is tailored to the client’s needs. Are they single or multi-location? Are they a single-country enterprise or have plants in multiple countries with an array of languages to be catered for and, often more importantly given the use of MS Teams chat nowadays, written communication?
Business Response is Important
I am concerned with the level of focus on customer service in the technology industry. This is why in my selection methodology, we have a structured plan to undertake appropriate levels of due diligence with existing and, in some cases, past clients of technology suppliers. Understanding how a business responds in times of need is important. If we get all glowing reviews and no issues, I become highly sceptical. Every business has issues; no one is perfect. When inevitable problems occur, what matters is how the business bounces back, not the problems themselves.
If you are looking to upgrade or replace your technology platforms, please take the time and effort to ensure you fully understand the support behind the product. If you need help with this, we’d appreciate the opportunity to assist you.