The Meaning of Good Customer Service
- Comments: 5
- Written on: February 28th, 2007
I handled a situation in my Lincoln Service Center last week that is becoming more and more common in the computer repair industry. Every business has its cycles, and in the computer industry companies that offer more service at slightly higher prices are always competing against companies that offer less service and slightly lower prices.
In this particular case, Schrock Innovations shared a customer with a national-chain big box store in town. This customer had purchased her HP Pavilion from the box store, but always choose Schrock Innovations to work on her PC because of our higher levels of customer service.
Our customer’s computer had a “blue screen of death” that read unmountable boot volume. We diagnosed the problem as a bad hard drive, and as we would always do, we ran our stabilization software to move the customer’s data out of the bad sectors on the drive and into safe areas. The drive was still not bootable, but at least we could recover all of her data if she wished.
When we called her to tell her she was going to need a new hard drive, she told us that she had an extended hardware warranty with the box store. We all agreed that she should take advantage of the warranty, so she took her PC back to the box store.
After waiting around for quite a while at the box store, the repair desk shift supervisor there told her that her hard drive tested perfectly fine and that she probably had an adware infection that was causing the problem and it would cost $200 to remove.
Obviously, the customer was concerned. She believed us when we told her the hard drive was going bad, but the box store repair center supervisor (not just a lowly technician) insisted that her hardware was perfectly fine and that her computer had a “Windows problem.”
Before I step up on my soap box, I will sympathize with the box store repair staff… Schrock Innovations runs some pretty heavy duty hard disk repair software, and it masks bad sectors on the hard drive so data can be copied to a new drive without a problem. If you ran the freebie diagnostic software available from the drive manufacturers after we had serviced the drive with our software, it would report that the drive was clean. Evidently, Schrock Innovations runs more advanced software than this multi-billion dollar box store does, so I could see how a technician could make this mistake. Its forgivable, and could happen to any company out there.
However, there is NO MALWARE ANYWHERE that would cause an unmountable boot volume blue screen error message. This was a complete cop-out diagnosis that frustrated and concerned our customer-in-common.
Needless to say, the customer returned to our Lincoln Service Center to make a second go at getting the system repaired. After she showed us the printout of what they did and told us what they had said, it was obvious that someone needed to step in the middle of the problem and resolve it.
I volunteered to call the technicians at the box store and explain what our software does when it scans a hard drive, and how that might have skewed the results of their freeware hard drive scanning utility. I reassured the box store technician that the drive WAS bad and that it did need to be replaced. He agreed and thanked me for calling him.
Almost as an afterthought, I asked the technician if transferring the customer’s data is covered by their extended hardware warranty. he told me it was not. I thanked him for his time and the conversation ended.
I then turned to report to our customer that the box store would replace her hard drive, but would also erase all of her data. I offered to take an image of her hard drive for her at no additional cost so that when her repaired computer was returned to her she could bring it back in to us and have her data restored exactly as it was before the blue screen error.
Sometimes people ask me how we can possibly compete against the box stores, and the answer can be summarized in this story. We know that if we want to succeed and continue to grow, we have to exceed our customers’ expectations whenever possible. So even though our customer will be taking her computer back to the box store to cash in on her extended warranty, I think it would be safe to say that we are going to be her go-to tech guys when push comes to shove in the future.
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- Comments: 5