I spent nearly 15 years working in customer service – from the grocery store up until IT support. I think it’s something that everyone should do, just to get a better appreciation as to how to deal with people. It is generally one of the most thankless types of jobs that exist, one that generally follows with the pure misery of customer stupidity, but from time to time you get that one person who just makes your month. As a customer, that experience makes you more empathetic to the other side of the fence. And good customer service means repeat business.
IT services are commodity based, like electricity, you only notice it when it’s gone. People don’t phone IT services to thank them for how well things are going. The job is to take a frustrated person and turn them into a happy person. In many companies, the immediate bottom line matters more than the long term prospects. That’s one of the reasons telecom companies are notorious for poor customer service – the staff just isn’t empowered to help, nor are they terribly motivated.
I like to shop around, to get a good deal. For quite a few things, that works out. For other things, I prefer to pay a bit more, in order to get better service. My gaming laptop is a custom build out of Vancouver. I was able to talk to them over the phone and the service was top-notch. I’ve bought various brands, if only to have the semi-lifetime support behind them. I have avoided US automobiles after having a rather disastrous experience as a teenager, and now tend to stick to brands with quality cars that don’t require weeks in the shop on a regular basis.
Fitbit is one of those brands, where the support has been superb. Sure, the technology behind the Aria needs some tweaking, but I can’t deny that their support agents tried everything to get mine working.
Recently my Charge HR started to come unglued.
I’ve put in a lot of mileage on this thing, hockey games included. The glue itself doesn’t seem to hold up to the combination of heat/humidity that comes from sweating, at least not once the initial seal is broken. I read online for some options and sure enough, there’s a replacement program.
So I ended up sending an email late last night, around 11pm, with the attached picture. 7am this morning, I get a response and they needed a few clarifications. After that, I get another email with a choice – either replace the device for free, or get 30% off another device. That’s it, no bills, no esoteric questions, no shipping shenanigans, just “I see it’s broken, let’s fix that”. The question then becomes, do I trust the company enough to simply replace what I have, or enough to keep investing in their products?
And due to the previous support, and this one that took all of 10 minutes once I got the first email, I opted to get an upgraded product – the Charge 2. It has everything the first one had, with some nice upgrades.
Superior customer service means that I’m writing this post and telling my friends about it.