Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Beating Customer Expectations

You could be forgiven for thinking that my own expectation of Dell’s technical / warranty support would be on the low side (given my first post). Over the weekend my daughters 2 year old Inspiron went caput. A few frantic checks revealed the mother board had died and (not typically) I had purchased an extended 3 year warranty. So on Monday I telephoned the technical support centre in Bombay and spoke to Nisha. She was helpful and quickly realized I knew what the problem was and an engineer was arranged to visit us on Tuesday to replace the mother board.

I had a confirmation email in minutes and then on Tuesday morning a phone call from the engineer with an ETA. Later in the afternoon he updated the ETA due to traffic conditions, arrived and completed the job with super efficiency and politeness – winning a nice cup of tea. A few minutes after he left Nisha called to check everything had gone according to plan and then sent another email with references and contact info should I need any more help.
Two reasons for telling this story;

It’s great to tell a good story about Dell after starting with such a low expectation probably due to the fact that one normally hears about the problems rather than the successes.

It’s vital to set attainable customer expectations and manage them well to ensure a great experience. Beating customer expectations is generally more important than having the highest absolute standards (and not quite meeting them) when trying to create customer evangelists.

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