Should Entrepreneurs value customer care services

Customer CareCustomer care always plays a very important role in a company’s success and for entrepreneurs, every successful step builds the confidence to succeed further. An old age and almost cliched sentence reads: ‘Customers are money’. Though this remains true as always, customer care is never valued by many companies to make sure they win the belief of their customers to convert them as repeat customers. I, as a customer, can quite confidently claim that if I am not provided with excellent customer support after I have purchased the product or availed the service, I will not be stick with the seller. I would like to mention here that having high volume of repeat customers increases the credibility and reputation of any company.

I will talk about 3 recent instances that prompted me to write this article:

  • In our office, we had a LCD TV from Haier. It is 42″ LCD screen and we had some problems with it one day. I called the customer care services of Haier and registered a complaint. I was given a complaint number and said that the technician will reach us within 24 hours. However, after 2 days, when I called back, I was told that the technician had reported to them that he could not get anybody in the office when actually he even did not give a call. Anyways, it was mentioned that the issue will be escalated and the technician will surely reach us. It took 5 days for the technician to visit our office and resolve the issue. Being corporate customers, we never expected such kind of service but there is no way-out from this what-can-be-done attitude of companies for customer care, especially post-sales.
  • I own a credit card of Kotak Mahindra, which offers 10% flat cash-back on food and movies. I had been using this offer in good measure. When our COO visited our office from US, we had a town-hall party and we had somebody provide us catering and food. I offered to use my card because it would save us some money. The bill was more than 16k. However, when I saw my credit card statement, there was no discount. I contacted the customer care service of Kotak Mahindra Credit Card: They said that the discount is available if the transaction is below 4k and they can’t do anything related to this issue. They have not mentioned this ‘4k’ figure anywhere else.
  • I own a personal computer from Dell. It is Inspiron 1420 model, which I bought in 2007 and paid a very huge amount given the fact that nobody at that time would recommend spending close to 0.1 million INR for a laptop. Dell had been superb for his customer support and I have freely recommended Dell to my friends and colleagues based on my own experiences. Recently, I contacted them because some parts of my system were cracked and I wanted them to replace it. The customer care executive said that I will need to send photographs of the broker parts. I asked why; I never did it? But the guy replied that it is policy, which I never heard. I told him that what if I did not have the camera? He mentioned that I will have to visit the store. Now, I paid around 15k for guarantee that ensured that the engineer would visit my place to replace and troubleshoot the system. Just because I could not send the photographs, my problem remains unresolved. When I asked to talk to a senior person, I was told the same thing. In fact, he made very funny statement: “Sir, I need to ensure that I am sending the right product because I am seeing 5 views of the same part. So, if you send me the photos, I will sure that I am sending the right part”. Now, I won’t describe this conversation more because for a particular model, Dell does not have multiple parts.

The idea behind writing this article is not to blurt out personal grievances but to showcase the concern that companies have for customers. In all the abovementioned examples, even if I disassociate myself from being the customer, I can see that the companies are not building customer-trust. No?

Entrepreneurs, I am sure, will like to have closer look when it comes to build customer-trust through better customer support and concern for the problems of the clients.

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