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|Have you ever felt that new-age Customer Service is all smoke and no substance? All nice things that we read/write/teach in big-fat CRM books comes down to a big ZERO when you ever deal with companies as potential customer.... Super efficient software systems are being manned by completely clueless fellas who can't remove dead fly from a coffee cup? Does it ever feel that instead of serving your needs, companies are busy-at-work figuring how to make you serve their needs first?
Recently, one of my old client told me that he wants my help to buy new All-in-one thingie that Lenovo has introduced. Normally, I stay away from hardware purchase but this client is good (always pays-on-time... etc etc ...), so I jotted down his min specs and did some online shopping for him. Went to lenovo website and sure enough by end-of-day, their drones were onto me and I received email flyer with discount coupon codes and with a handy flashy 1-800 number. Email was embedded HTML and its layout looked exactly like the A4 size flyers one usually sees in one's mailboxes every single day; KMart or Walmart variety with photos, prices and all encompassing "Sale" and "Call Now" word
Noticed that while website had all flashy things to purchase a comp there was no provision to use coupon code and more importantly, the OS was only mentioned as Windows 8, so I decided to give a call on 800..
This is how the call went
Me: Hi, you've got so&so i3 machine on ur site. Site says its got Windows 8 but does not tell whether its regular or professional.
CS: Hmmm .... lemme check.... machine config is (reads out the screen that I already see and then goes for a pre-canned properly heated sales pitch): "It comes preloaded with Windows 8, so you just open the box, plug the machine and start working ...."
Me: Geee... thanks... but what OS is it. Professional ?
CS: Neither! Its Windows 8.
Me: Yeah, but thats got to be either Professional or otherwise.
CS: This just says Windows 8. Hey!!! wait. It also says 64 bit.
Me: Professional or regular?
CS: Windows 8 64 bit preinstalled and ready to use.
CS: Look!, I can give you number of Business partner in your city who can help you out with professional needs.
Me: So, you work for IBM and you want me to call outsider to buy IBM product?
CS: No, I don't work for IBM. I work for Lenovo.
Me: Ohhh Ok.... Why would I call someone else when you ppl are manufacturers?
CS: We do not manufacture it ....
CS: We just sell it....
Me: Oh gee thanks... Can I talk to your supervisor?
CS: Sure.... but he can't do much either...
Me: You just transfer....
SCS: Hello, this is blah-blah, Supervisor of the Lenovo (goes into another self-introductory obligatory speech with disclaimer at end)
Conversation with him was little bit better as he understood the word professional and confirmed that none of the on-site machines
were with Win8 Professional.
SCS: Yes, I can see that there is no mention of professional on site or on readouts, but it must be there. why would they put anything else?
Me: Great. But nevertheless, I want to confirm it orally and in writing before I part with the money.
SCS: Certainly, in that case, may I know your city, so I can get one of our business partners to call you up and deal with this?
I give up and gave my contact and hung up. It was more than 24 hours ago. No call from any business partner but I did receive one call asking me about feedback on how my conversation went!!!
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