When making a purchase, do you think ahead to the kind of support you’ll get after?
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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.net.
As I mentioned last week, I recently purchased a new desktop machine. My new
machine had an issue, and the experience got me thinking about support and
customer service, and how it so rarely enters into our purchasing
Typically when we purchase a new computer or software we spend a lot of time
looking at things like features, functionality, price, longevity, performance
and of course cost.
But we rarely look at what will happen when something goes wrong.
Now it’s tempting to think that if you’ve purchased the right package or
purchased from the right vendor, nothing will go wrong and support won’t even be
Trust me, it doesn’t work that way. Something will go wrong.
Perhaps not with every purchase, and perhaps not even something significant,
but even with the best vendors mistakes can and will be made, issues will
I’m still evaluating this new vendor’s response to my issues. I will say
that they’re off to a somewhat rocky start having failed to respond to some of
my emailed inquires, but once the issue became clear, the response was fairly
Unfortunately many companies really cut corners when it comes to after sales
support. It can be expensive and doesn’t add directly to the bottom line.
And to be perhaps a little blunt, if it’s anything like the flow of support
questions I get here at Ask Leo, the majority of issues that many customer service
folks face are likely to be issues that people can frequently solve themselves
with just a little bit more effort.
Unfortunately cutting those corners is a clear case of throwing the baby out
with the bath water. Good customer support actually adds to the bottom line
long term by fostering repeat and loyal customers. And, there are many
legitimate issues that good customer support can and should be available to
help with. Even a good approach for the simple and common questions will
only foster more good will and loyalty.
Other than experimenting as I am with my own purchases, I don’t have a magic
way to figure out who’s customer support is good and who’s is not. It’s all
about reputation, and as such I would spend time browsing the web and
particularly customer support forums. Particularly in those forums see how many
questions are actually being answered and if any are being answered by company
Beware too that as companies go through various budget and other cycles,
customer support is one of those items that often gets cut to “save money”. Make
sure that whatever information you find is current.
Let me also turn it around: how do you identify good customer service
before you make a major purchase?
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.net and enter 12352 in the go
to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me a
comment. While you’re there, browse the hundreds of technical questions and
answers on the site.
Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.net.