What sort of service do you expect?

I’ve had a bit of a ‘mare this week with my internet/pc/router and that’s caused a real slow down in my blogging and has shown me some interesting approaches to Customer Service.

And it all comes down to what do you get and what do you expect to get when you buy something?

First off: Virgin Media. They provide my home internet connection for which I pay them every month. When it wasn’t working they gave me a bit of support and then told me to call another one of their centres at a rate of £1 per minute. In summary, something I rent isn’t working and I need to pay more to get it fixed.

On the other hand: my Linksys  router, which was part of the problem, was bought from PC World about 4 years ago and I’ve not spoken to PCW or Linksys then. But using the Linksys FREEFONE number I got over 45 minutes well structured diagnosis and support to fix my problem. So the company that makes the product that I bought off someone else 4 years ago gives me their expertise for nothing when it goes wrong.

What then is the lasting impression: Linksys are obviously my favourite of the month. And when I renew my technology whose will I buy? Theirs of course.

And as for Virgin Media – how keen am I on them right now? Would I move to Sky if I could? Of course I would, but my wife doesn’t want a dish on the house!

Surely though, the best way to make money in the long term is the Linksys route (they are owned by Cisco). Deliver great products (it hadn’t broken in 4 years) and when they don’t work: fix them. But always strive try to turn your customers into advocates who will always buy from you.