Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SALES & SERVICE GO HAND IN HAND


Last week I had to buy a new TV, so I went to several stores for orientation. I am not up to date on the latest technologies in that industry, though. And that is what happened, I was bombarded with jargon out of that world (LED, LCD, HD, 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 32 inch, 40 inch, digital subscriptions etc).
In one shop they only explained about the TV, which was on sale, and where I was just standing as the salesrepr approached. He made no other suggestions or explanations.
In the second shop, I did get an excellent technical explanation of the possibilities. The best, however, was a demo of one 50Hz TV which was placed next to a 100 Hz TV. In that way I could really see the difference in quality.

What surprised me most is that no salesrepr actually asked what kind of a TV viewer I was. In other words what my needs were. So, no questions, as to how many hours I watch TV, whether I watch DVD’s with surround sound, how many people does my family consists of, whether I want to connect my stereo system, where the TV is placed etc. The basic questions in a sales call were not asked. Apparently they didn’t care. I am just a consumer and supposed to buy what they have to offer and figure it out myself what the best fit is.
I would say that a simple set of questions could highly improve my customer experience.

As I don’t want to spend hours and hours installing the device, I did ask who I could call in case I had difficulties. They gave me a name and telephone number. Fine.
But, hey guys, this can be much better, why not offer me to install the TV and offer me an extended warranty/service contract? Again they didn’t care.

When I installed the TV, there was a slight problem; there was no sound............ I used the remote as well as the tips on the TV itself, but no result. Well, maybe that is why they did give me a discount, there was no sound. Still, I called the number, but the person was free that day (which they hadn’t told me). I asked for another person, but they claimed to be very busy and that they will ask them to call me later. I don’t know their definition of later, but now 5 days have passed and nobody called me. Fortunately I figured out myself that they had put the sound off via the menu of the system (it was a demo TV).

So, how do I, the customer, perceive this? I was really surprised that in 2010 still the basics of sales and service were not in place (and this is a multinational!). Sales was not interested in my needs, sales didn’t offer me any service and (after sales) service was virtually non-existing.
The good news is that there is a lot of room for improvement and that is rather easy to accomplish.
That will only happen when the leadership takes customer service as well as after -sales service seriously. Part is also a cultural issue; it requires a shift in mindset. From box shifter to delighting customers that is quite a serious step. There is no other way if you want to survive in this highly competitive market.



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


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