Friday, June 16, 2006

Customer Service in the 21st Century

There's been a lot of fuss recently about this story; It's about a guy who needed to cancel his AOL account, but having heard of the trouble that other people had had, he decided to record the conversation. This is really quite typical of the state of customer services at the current time, and the fact that the big corporations thing they have a right to manipulate us.

For example there's a large consumer electronics chain that would rather see you leave the store with nothing than buy a computer without a warranty plan and an armful of gadgets and consumables that you may not need. They have cut the prices right down on their computers and laptops so that hardly any profit is made on them, so therefore sales advisers have to apply pressure for customers to buy other services and "essentials".

I think a much better way of selling to people would be a much more welcoming store where people would want to spend time, maybe include a coffee shop or Internet cafe where people can think about making those big purchases. Surely a customer will be more happy with a product that they have decided to buy themselves rather than having been railroaded into the purchase.

I'm not saying that the extended warranties are no good to anybody, in fact it is quite a good package for a computer novice. I think the best way to sell it though would be to advertise it and its benefits in newspaper ads and on TV, rather than just advertising prices, if people made an informed decision to purchase, they'll feel happier about that purchase and more likely to come back, and they will recommend the store to their friends.

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