Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why good customer service matters?

I am not an Apple fan, but I do like their computers, and recommend them to colleagues and friends for a variety of reasons. They are well designed, and in addition to an excellent user interface, they run a flavor of Unix--which makes the life of computer programmers a lot easier. But most importantly, Apple's customer support is impeccable, that despite all the hardware issues I experienced in the past, I still recommend Apple computers. Let me explain why.

A year and a half ago, I bought a Mac Book Pro for work. At the time it was the first generation unibody laptop, that had an i7 processor, lots of memory, and lots of disk space. Alas, like first generation models everywhere, it also had a lot of hardware problems. The most annoying of which was the screen randomly turning dark, with the hard drive spinning out of control. The only way to get out of this state was by forcing a reboot by holding down the power button, and losing everything I have been working on.

At first I thought it was a software problem, but after searching the Internet, I found that a lot of people are experiencing similar issues with this generation macbook pro. On Apple's discussion boards there were threads 50 pages long of people having the same issues, with stories about faulty logic boards, bad graphics chips, and bad memory chips. I was furious that I got a lemon for an expensive laptop, and went raging to the apple site to file a complaint.

Unlike other sites, the support links were front and center. I selected my computer model, entered the serial number, and wrote in the problem description. The next screen asked for my contact information--phone number and email, but the third screen diffused my anger. It asked if Apple can call me now, and when I clicked yes, I immediately got a callback, and talked to a tech support engineer within 30 seconds. The tech was very helpful, he diagnosed the problem, and scheduled a same day appointment for me to the nearest Apple store. When I went there, the service was quick, and I got replacement parts the next day. Today nothing on my Macbook pro is original, apart from the unibody, keyboard, and LCD screen.

The whole experience was so delightful, that despite starting with a lemon laptop, I still recommend Apple products. And at my current company, I retell that story, to make sure we delight our customers with exceptional customer support.


  1. I had an equally frustrating but then redeeming experience with Apple about a year ago, Abe. What a difference great customer service makes! With my previous Dell laptops, it would cost $79 to get someone on the phone that could talk specific problems and potential solutions!
    Thanks for the musings and insights ...

  2. I’m sure your readers were delighted upon reading this story, my friend. It’s nice to know that Apple was able to help you with your laptop problems. The condition of your laptop seems serious that it needed to be fixed immediately. I’m sure that the replacement parts and great service that were given to you were up and beyond your standards.

    Noreen Clay