Among various benefits internet offers to its users, â€œVoice of the customerâ€ is one of the most powerful tools. The notion â€œCustomer is the Kingâ€ is absolute reality in the internet age. Let me share a recent real life incident in which I personally experienced the power of being online.
Last year I bought a new Apple MacBook and I was very happy & excited when I started using it. Unfortunately, I faced multiple breakdowns – first battery crash, then data crash followed by hard disk failure. Even worse, I received horrible customer service from Appleâ€™s service center in Delhi. More than the valuable data, I lost precious time fighting with Apple India. But they were reluctant to hear. Being an Online Marketing training provider, I thought of taking a different approach – instead of me going after them (push), let me create a pull towards me.
As expected, I got a call from them. They apologized for my experience and offered me a brand new and the next version of the laptop as the compensation. Although I didnâ€™t want to but I finally accepted their request. Looking at the comments, view/read stats and the popularity of the above mentioned sites, I am sure that Apple paid a heavy price for the mistake of not listening to their customer. Since Iâ€™d given my email id in the review, I am receiving mails from people asking for my advice on whether they should buy Apple machine. Virtually, I am driving (or preventing) a part (however small it is) of their sales.
What lessons did I learn (equally applicable for you) from this experience?
1. My voice matters – As a customer, I am much more powerful today than ever before. I can and should demand the respect and service I expect from my vendors.
2. Customer is the king – As a business owner, I canâ€™t ignore the voice of my customer or I will pay a very high price. Given the networked world (socially and professionally) today, it pays to be honest.
I can correlate this strongly to my previous venture in which we used to serve IT professionals who were strongly connected to each other through various discussion forums relevant to our services. Occasionally (especially in the very beginning of our venture), some people would say negative about our product/service. Instead of taking that as a feedback and an opportunity to grow, we used to defend ourselves by giving counter response. Till the moment we acknowledged our mistake, the problem would only grow. The moment my customer got the experience of being listened to, the discussion will end.
The same happened in this experience with Apple. The moment they called me I stopped thrashing them and when they again faltered I went out against them. This idea of writing a blog post about my experience serves two purposes â€“ first, sharing the lessons I learnt with you and second, making Apple India realize the importance of customer service.
3. Pull always works better than Push – Whether you are selling or buying a product/service, pull always beat push. In the online world, pull is not only more effective but also more feasible.
I hope you find this experience valuable. Please do give your inputs and feel free to share any such experience you might have had in the past.
Pradeep has personally trained & advised over 2000 professionals including CEOs across Asia in helping them grow their businesses through Digital Vidya’s hands-on Digital Marketing trainings.
Pradeep is one of the most sought after international speakers on Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship. His speaking assignments include ad-tech, SES (USA), World Social Media Summit at Kuala Lumpur, Social Media Workshops across Asia, Click Asia Summit, Global Youth Marketing Forum, TiEcon and NASSCOM India Leadership Forum. He writes on Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing for Wall Street Journal, Inc & Entrepreneur Magazines.
Pradeep is also the recipient of Social Media Entrepreneur Award (at Global Youth Marketing Forum), PIMR Marketing Excellence Award and CMOAsia’s Brand Slam Leadership Award for his contribution to Digital Marketing industry.
A graduate from IIT Delhi, Pradeep is a core member of the Global Committee at SEMPO USA, a non-profit that nurtures the growth of Digital Marketing globally. He also sits on the advisory board of Social Media Chambers Malaysia. His obsession for the digital medium has led him to believe that the Internet connectivity is more important than the water supply :). He’s a tweet away @PradeepChopra. Find more about Digital Vidya at http://www.digitalvidya.com
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