I have been having really bad luck with my tech items lately. My Beats X mic died on me suddenly, my work laptop’s “A” and “L” keys became unresponsive requiring me to press hard on them or correct my typing errors, the personal laptop which I bought to use for work, the Dell XPS 13 9370, has short battery life issues (5 hours max on a Core i5 FHD version when reviews states that it should be a minimum of 8).
On the latter, I called Dell’s support hotline to get it fixed ASAP since the laptop will be my daily driver. Little did I know, I was in for a game of “Nobody knows what’s going on”.
I started my call with Dell at 9am to report the battery issue. It was straight-forward, I described my problem to the customer service officer, “Agent A” confirmed my issue and my details and said that an engineer will be on-site the next day and I confirmed the timing between 8am to 1pm. Difficulty: Easy.
I found another issue with the Thunderbolt 3 port, called Dell support again and filed another ticket. “Agent B” said he will inform the engineer to check on it when he comes onsite. Difficulty: Easy.
Here’s where things got complicated.
I wanted to check if the time window the engineer comes down can be made more specific. At 5pm I called Dell Support again, and this time “Agent C” informed me that no engineer is coming down as the parts are not available. I argued saying that I have a timing and a confirmation email by Dell. Even if there was a change, why was I not notified? Had I not called in, would I have been waiting aimlessly the next day? What was the point of a confirmation email if it didn’t mean anything at all? I spent the next 1.5 hours arguing my case with “Agent C” about the changed arrangements and the poor handling of my issue. Difficulty: Dark Souls Difficult.
WIth the issues I experienced on a new product which had stellar reviews online combined with the really poor customer service, Dell eventually lost a customer. I traded my laptop for something else at the retail store.
That’s just my experience. Now imagine thousands everyday having the same experience.
That could have meant a loss of millions of dollars in not just upfront revenue, but also future Customer Lifetime Value revenue. Had the experience with the customer service been better, they could have prevented customer churn, and if repairs went accordingly and quickly, at-risk customers might have changed their view on Dell and its’ products and end up continue buying and using Dell products. At best, these customers could also serve as “advocates” of how great the customer service experience was much like how Apple users always remark that Apple’s Genius services are some of the best they have experienced for any product.
Businesses need to be better at recognizing the revenue that should be attributed to these customer service officers so that they are properly incentivized to provide a stellar experience. While they may not be involved in the direct sales, the bottom-line wouldn’t look as good without their efforts.