bounce back better

[image from kickstock]

My iPod developed some problems late last year.

I took it back to the store where I bought it, who referred me to their third-party ‘service agent’, a company located a couple of stores away.

The unit was almost out of warranty, but when I explained the problem to the service agency, they replaced it with a new one almost instantaneously, free of charge.

I was really surprised. It was so quick, so efficient, and they were very friendly too.

So when my laptop developed problems shortly after, I knew where to take it.

Once again, the third-party agency delivered outstanding service.

Even though the laptop was already out of warranty, they helped me identify what was wrong with it, and discovering that it was an issue that Apple had previously identified as a fault with a component, they didn’t ask me to pay a single cent to fix it.

Not even the assessment fee.

This has had a very interesting effect.

Firstly, I rave about them to everyone I meet who mentions anything about their Apple products.

But more interestingly, it has increased my faith in Apple products.

Sure, I had two separate products that developed problems, but those problems were resolved so efficiently, that now I feel comfortable buying more Apple products.

But it wasn’t Apple who changed my perceptions of their brand. It was their agent.

Why?

Because they made me feel that my issues were important, and were worthy of their attention.

I felt like they cared.

I’m pretty sure Apple makes sure that they *do* care with various KPIs etc., but that doesn’t matter to me as a customer.

What I care about is that I get great service.

Everyone wins – Apple, their agent, and me.

Compare this to another complaints experience I endured with a rival brand not so long ago.

Firstly, I had to call their helpline. A lengthy set of menus answered my call.

This seems like an obvious mistake; I’m already annoyed: why make it worse?

When I eventually got to speak to a human and explained the problem, they had to refer me to someone else. No cost savings from the automated answering system, and increased irritation for me.

Once I’d explained the problem (again) to a new person, I was told that I needed to pay an exorbitant assessment fee just to identify the problem – which I had already identified.

I’d then need to pay for the repairs on top of that.

I didn’t bother getting it repaired. I bought an Apple laptop instead.

Moral of the tale?

If you don’t care, don’t pretend you do – it’ll only make things worse.

But demonstrating you do care – by actually trying to help people solve their problems – you can earn even greater loyalty.

It might cost more; it might even take more time. But the rewards probably outweigh that investment.

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3 Responses to “bounce back better”


  1. 1 pvtiongson March 4, 2009 at 17:36

    Your hypothesis is going to be tested really soon – I just bought an Airport Express to expand my network. And it’s not responding at all. I cannot connect. Let’s see how the agents/authorized resellers actually fix this one for me. For the first time, I am deeply frustrated with Mac. And for a really patient guy like me to be frustrated… all hell’s going to break loose…! 🙂

    • 2 eskimon March 5, 2009 at 01:29

      I actually had a bit of bother setting up AE too – then realised that I was the problem.
      After so much experience of a ‘less intuitive platform’, I was expecting it to be difficult. But after going back through the guide, it’s actually very straightforward.
      But, just in case there really is a fault, take it down to Sapura, which is on the 4th floor of Funan.

  2. 3 David March 17, 2009 at 08:32

    I also just got a nice new AE, sweet 🙂 Anyway, I just got my MacBook Pro back back from the repair center – fixed quickly and without having to battle with tech support.

    OK, it’s not been the most reliable of laptops (but also not show stopping faults), it’s three years old and in that time the following has been done :

    2 batteries
    1 charger
    1 DVD drive
    2 cooling fans

    But because they were all fixed quickly and without any question I still recommend Apple equipment to everyone.


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