Estimated time of reading: 5 min.
What I’ll learn from this article: The story of how some brands are leaving alone customers and in that process, digging their way to failure
Are you loyal to a certain Brand because of their quality standards? Do you buy from physical retailers expecting a better Customer Care?
We do, and because of that, we’re deeply disappointed when our brands fail us. If you’ve ever gone through the frustrations of dealing with poor customer service, you’ll be interested in hearing this story.
I’m going to tell you about recent experiences with brands of renown and explain why brands don’t stand by their own standards anymore – but they certainly should.
G’day guys, John MacKenzie of staffleverage.com. Want to talk a little bit about customer service and brand standing by their own brand standard. We’ve been going through enormous frustrations a number of months ago. We expanded our team. We bought a number of computers and you know, it was a real problem; well, actually, it was a good time really because we’re going through this expansion and all things going well, but what we found is, with one particular computer, it started having some intermittent issues. And we bought it through Harvey Norman’s at the Harvey Norman store department and I’m also really disappointed with HP.
So we’ve actually dropped in probably no less than four or five times with this computer talking to Harvey Norman and also their HP tags. Now, the thing is there are so many issues that we’ve had with this computer. This crazy pixelated screen flickering… you know, the mouse stop working, you know… intermittent stoppages and power outages and even complete power failure where the computer would even restart again. It’s amazing how you bring in seven days later and then miraculously it starts again.
An interesting thing though is because, you know, at the time we bought four computers so no real problem with the other three; we don’t whine about things, we get on with business. But with this one computer, you know, it’s just been a massive issue. So you’re bringing it four or five times and you actually… you start getting really frustrated because you know, the brands stand by making the money, making the profit; they don’t stand by the customer service. They don’t stand by there, you know, their… their support because what they want to do is time and time and time again, they want to go through the process. What they forget about is that there are customers on the other end of the transaction and customers make buying decisions in the future and there is a time when there’s brand… something called brand damage. And when you look at organizations like this they don’t really care, so they just go through their processes and they might think customers are the problem all the time and I see that as a massive disconnect in the corporate world.
So in this case Harvey… Harvey Norman an Australian retailer, very very large, under disruption from many many other pathways, including Amazon, Kogan and many other online retailers, and the other one being HP. Look, at the end of the day, why the hell would we now buy from a retailer, you know from a shop front, when we can get it online and probably get better service? Like, that’s what it comes down to, you know, the service that we should be getting face-to-face should be far better than anywhere else, you know; we want to use that particular service in the future. But gone are the days where Customer Service and Care actually stand for something.
So I see two major problems in the world. There’s a disconnect between the corporates and also the consumer’s needs and wants. And you find that, in the corporate world, they just keep making these decisions that are crazy.
So I just wanted to share that because I’m certain that many many other people go through the same types of feelings and frustrations when you’ve got problems, and this is the fourth or fifth time in as little as five and a half / six months. We’ve been back to Harvey Norman where we drop the computer off for three to… three days to 14 days or 21 days and lose it. You know, there’s going to come a time when someone takes responsibility. You know, Harvey Norman won’t take responsibility because it’s HP; HP won’t take responsibility because they didn’t sell it and it’s under manufacturer’s warranty. You get to the point you say “what the fuck” you know, someone has to take responsibility. You didn’t mind putting your hand out for profit, but you don’t care about the customer on the other side once you take the profit. So it becomes very very frustrating when there’s no one that seems to care in the transaction after the transaction’s, you know, been paid you know, so, I don’t know where the world’s going but these retailers at the moment, they end up losing because we find other alternatives to buy in the future.
You know what incentive do we got to come into a store and buy, you know, a computer when we just don’t get the customer service afterwards. We don’t get the support afterwards. We’d have the same problems dealing with HP directly, you have the same problems, you know, if we’re dealing with an online, you know… buy on a retailer like Amazon or Kogan and probably get a cheaper price and reduce the risk.
Anyway, it’s… I’m certain many many other people go through the same level of frustration when they engage different retailers. It’s really got to stop because customer service is important in the modern world. It’s a forgotten art and it just seems that we’ve lost the… it’s lost upon.
I wanted to share that with you because you know, we have all these general frustrations and we’ve got to try and start working on why do they look like they are. Who’s going to start taking responsibility? Until we start sharing it, until we start calling it out, nothing changes. And it’s not about whining and winning. It’s about putting a good practice.
You know, as I said, I’ve been… we’ve been here four times, we’ve tried the most we can. How often do we have to come back in? And how often do we have to keep facing the same frustration, the same problem with their lack of customer service and support? I don’t understand where it goes from here. The consumer… you know, general protections… you know, all the ACCC, they got to step in and start fixing some of those things because it’s just not good enough. You know, as I said, I’ve really not had this problem before… I guess I’ve had one or two computers been a bit glitchy, but this has been probably the worst computer that’s had the massive glitches and there has been no support. You know, what’s the point of getting manufacturer’s warranty and getting support from the retailer when they don’t step in their own standard and… and help really. They keep the customer, who made the buying decision to use that particular retailer and to use that particular brand, but they don’t stand by; that’s where the frustration comes in.
Anyway, I just thought I’d share it. I’m certainly a lot of people feel the same thing. But customer service seems to be a forgotten art, support seems to be a forgotten art, and I think that we’ve got to try and call it out, respectfully, you can see that I’ve just talked about the situation here, but I just don’t see where there are viable outcomes at the moment because no one seems to… care enough in the modern world, you know, and that is where the major issue is: When no one seems to care.
You know, and I spoke to the… to the Tech Guy and I said: “Look, Apple wouldn’t do that”. He said, “Well, they’re going to go through and try and find intermediates at fault as well”. I said, “Well, not really”. I was over in Las Vegas earlier this year attending a number of conferences and I had a cracked screen and I’m living in Darwin and 4,000 kilometres away from anywhere else that… an Apple repairer. So I took the opportunity to go into an Apple Store when I was in Vegas and I had a problem because I was trying to coordinate my time and their time when I’m around the conference, so that was a little bit difficult. But when I finally got in there I waited for two hours because it got really really long queues, because people love them. I really enjoyed the atmosphere being inside an Apple Store, really cool plays. But at the end of it, they finally booked it in, they took my phone away and then an hour and a half later you come back to get your phone fixed, only a cracked screen and they said “Sorry John that we couldn’t fix it. We had a problem with the machine that it was at”. They said “Look, the calibration of the machine stopped working. But what we’re going to do here for you is we’re gonna offer you a new phone”. I was like, “Holy crap, someone cares about customer service”. You know, and that is a difference between the best brands in the world and everybody else: Someone caring.
So I actually said to them at the time “Look, I don’t really want a new phone. It’s more frustration to swap all my information from my old phone to a new phone resetting all my emails over, you know, getting everything set up again. I’d rather just come back and fix it a different time”. So, but they gave the option of fixing it and having a real solution you know, for me that’s Triple… AAA standard service, you know; they had a real solution, they’re going to stand by their brand and they’re going to fix it, and they didn’t have to do that. So Apple, you know, huge accolades to that particular thinking. because you care about your customers and that’s why a lot of Apple customers will be Apple customers forever, because they understand that you care about your brand… their brand and you care… they care more about their customers and future lifetime value than anything. In this case, you can see what’s a little bit different.
Anyway, a big shout-out to Apple. You know, I won’t… I won’t tell you what happens from here, but what I want to share is more about customer service and how Brands don’t really care about their customers in the modern world. Hope you have a great day and I’ll speak to you on the flip side. Cheers.
End of Transcription.-
As you can see. In our current market, the physical presence of brands is steadily being eroded by the general convenience and also cheaper prices that online retailers offer, the process even faster now that these brands seem to have forgotten the importance of personal service.
Things need to change, for everyone’s sake. Brands need to take responsibility and step-up their game, be loyal to their own standards and actually care about their customers. Remember the power of Customer Service as we finish the transition to a digitalized market.
By John Mackenzie – Founder & CEO of Staff Leverage, NT Digital and JohnMac Digital
Do you want to be successful? We know how you can be. For more information on the previous topics and deeper insight into the intricacies of efficient business, see the following articles: