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As an EdTech team, our priority goal is to provide our schools with the best customer support possible. This week I have had two experiences with customer support with a couple of vendors that I have supported with personal purchases. These two vendors illustrate the point I hope to make here.
Vendor 1 is a small operation, but produces some products that I have found very beneficial to my work and productivity at work. A piece of a device that I purchased from them has gone bad. I purchased this device almost 3 years ago. It was really just that the part had become loose, it did impact the use of the device slightly, but didn't make it unusable. I contacted the vendor just to see if there was a way I could tighten the part to make it better.
This vendor got back to me within 20 minutes to let me know he was sorry that there was a problem. He then asked for my contact information and informed me that he would ship out a new part immediately. I sent him my info and 5 minutes later had a shipment confirmation with tracking number for the new part. The vendor didn't ask me to send back the old part, he didn't question what had happened. He just knew that this was a problem for me and he took care of it. This small company has a customer for life and I will recommend their products to anyone.
Vendor 2 is a pretty large company. I have personally spent a lot of money with this company and have directed a lot of others to it as a great vendor. In using them for the past 5 years I have really not had any problems. A couple of months ago I was looking for a new travel bag. I use this bag on a daily basis to haul all my gear. (Yes, I keep a lot of gear with me at all times, I know!) I searched the web for what I thought was the perfect bag for me. I found it at this company.
I have used the bag for about 6 weeks. It came with a limited lifetime warranty, which is one of the reasons I bought it. Yesterday as I wheeled the bag into the office and tried to put the handle down, the handle buckled at a joint. I straightened the handle out and put it away but when I pulled it back out to check it the handle separated from the bag on one side. Not disastrous except for the fact that I am leaving for a trip in 8 days and really need the handle functioning.
I immediately went to the company website and requested an RMA with the explanation that I needed the replacement within a week. I waited all day for a response for the company. Strike 1! The response finally came and their solution to take care of my problem was to purchase a new bag, then return the current bag for a refund. Strike 2! So to take care of a warranted problem to get what I need in a timely manner, I get to make a new purchase, pay shipping (again) for that purchase then pay to return the defective merchandise. I almost somewhat politely responded that I was not satisfied with this solution. Now nearly 18 hours later I still have not heard back from the company. Strike 3! Are they out, I am not sure yet, I love this bag, but their lack of a timely response to a problem has me very turned off at this point.
So what does this have to do with Educational Technology. As EdTechs in Canyons School District, as I started this piece with, our priority is to provide the best customer service possible. Do we succeed all of the time, probably not. The second company I mentioned, this may be the case with them. Maybe my problem is the 1 in 100 where they dropped the ball. However, we will always try to provide our customers, the students, teachers, and staff of Canyons School District with the best customer service possible.
If you feel this is not happening for you please let us know. We will work as hard as the first company I talked about to make things right for you. We love our customers and are so appreciative of the work we get to do with you and for you.