David Murray - AdMastery.bizRecently I’ve been reminded several times of the vital importance of customer service in building a sustainable business.

Forty years ago, as an under-30 with a shiny new business qualification but no experience, I was given the unbelievable opportunity of working as an assistant to the recently appointed Deputy-CEO of a major consumer products company. The first project he gave me was to discover how we as a company treated people who complained, commented or asked questions about our products. This experience shaped my view of customer service and product support for the rest of my career.

During the past few weeks, however, I’ve seen the other side of the story here on the web. I bought a WordPress plugin. It didn’t work. I emailed the developer and, to do him justice, he replied the following morning with some advice. It still didn’t work so I wrote again. He replied once more, but a bit more slowly. Still I couldn’t get it to deliver the goods so I wrote yet again, remaining calm and courteous and giving no cause for aggravation. … but I’ve waited for weeks now and in spite of polite reminders, total silence.

This is the second time this kind of thing has happened to me in the past few months, with two different software developers. In both cases I have other of their products. In fact one of them is open in my browser right now and I’m completely satisfied with it. But am I likely to buy anything more from either of them? Probably not! I’d certainly think more than twice before doing so.

How can one make people, especially those of a technical bent, realise that the development of a product is only the start of an ongoing process, and that ongoing customer service is the foundation on which their future success must be built? Customer satisfaction, indeed customer delight, is earned not from a good product alone but from good, and patient, product support.

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