Thursday, May 05, 2011

The importance of customer service vs. technology

I've written before about customer service issues, here and here.

These days we have more gadgets than ever that we rely on to do more things. When computers, printers, etc. perform as expected, we may take them for granted. But when they act up or are on the fritz, most of us get frustrated trying to trouble shoot. Our lives can be put on hold if that document/resume we need for a meeting/audition today won't print. Or if your cell phone keeps telling you "your device is extremely low on space" and won't let you send a text even after you've deleted all kinds of apps, cleared caches and more.

Manuals rarely seem to yield the solution. With online help, it's often challenging and time consuming to find the FAQ that resolves your issue or wade through help forums. Reaching a live customer service person is a feat in itself, and finding a helpful one can be like running a marathon.

This week, so far:
Waiting for 3 boxes from Federal Express. My building has a locked package room, but they just left the first one sitting in the lobby. A box clearly marked Dell Multimedia Speaker System.

Fed Ex's door tags don't list delivery hours. I clicked all over their website but couldn't find them. The guy I finally got on the phone (who said to press 00 to get to a person right away; I'd tried that but it didn't work) was very pleasant but couldn't do anything except tell me that I could pick up the boxes at a delivery center near me.

I'm sure FedEx employees are very busy. But you can't even request a window of opportunity, you have to be available the entire time...which I think is 9A to 8P. I wasn't, so I signed the first tag for the other boxes. Well, they didn't leave them....

U.S. Cellular: I've found USC customer service to be friendly and helpful. However, I'm not thrilled by their advice. To get rid of the "low on space" error message on my HTC Desire, they say to install two pieces of software on my PC and back up stuff on my phone. Then I have to install froyo 2.2, which basically wipes clean all settings and apps but should improve performance and battery usage. Finally, I'll have to reinstall and set up everything as if the phone was new. This is expected to take at least 45 mins (during which time, of course, my phone won't work...and of course that'll be when FedEx arrives...).

When they work and arrive when expected, electronic devices and software can make our lives so much easier and more fun. When they don't, waiting for or fixing them can take over our lives.

No comments: