Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More on the crazy new concept called "Customer Service"

The witty and perceptive David Pogue, the New York Times’ personal technology columnist, has given us another excuse (Ding!) to write about the idea of really, truly focusing on taking care of your customers.

He had posed a question in his blog asking if any readers knew of a trusty website that catalogued third-party auto parts, and wrote last week that, “No fewer than 25 people… all responded the same way: ‘What you want is Crutchfield.’” He then goes on to detail the incredible attention to detail and eager helpfulness he encountered from Crutchfield, both on the Web and on the phone, since,

“When the package arrived, there was Crutchfield’s installation manual, with the company’s “we’re here to help you” toll-free number printed in 60-point type on the first page.

What are they, nuts!? They are actually *inviting* people to call them for free technical support? Don’t they have any idea how that idea will kill their revenue stream? Haven’t they learned anything from the computer industry?

I can't help wondering why nobody else has questioned the wisdom of the current "go away, customer" attitude that prevails in the penny-pinching computer and software industries. That attitude will never generate repeat customers, will never build a cult of fans and will never turn a company into the Crutchfield of its industry."
David Pogue:
A New Business Model
Business 101: Quality Customer Service Breeds Customer Loyalty
(“Pogue’s Posts” is only one corner of the far-flung Pogue publishing empire, which also includes being the creator of the Missing Manual series of computer books; this is one of those hyper-productive people who you figure there must actually be at least three or four of. )

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