Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A tale of two customer service philosophies

On the "best of times, worst of times" list, Apple Care has to stand out as one of the best examples of good customer service, and Handango has to stand out as one of the worst.

I've had some hiccups with my MacBook Pro, and the good folks at Apple Care have walked me through a total of 2-1/2 hours of "um, where's that button?" and "can you please repeat that?" Luddite comments on my end, with infinite patience and kindness. I've finished each of two conversations with the folks at Apple Care completely confident that, should my problems recur, they will take good care of me. How do I know that? At the end of every conversation, I've gotten a case number; at the end of the first conversation, the person helping me gave me his name and telephone number.

Handango, on the other hand, has sold me about seven products recently that don't work with my BlackBerry Tour and has refused simply to refund my money, choosing instead to repeat, ad nauseum, that the products do work with my BlackBerry. Unfortunately, no matter how many times Handango sends me the same instructions, the products don't load. Handango makes it almost impossible -- well, so far, actually impossible -- to get closure on my problem. No, Handango Customer Service: trying to load the programs again doesn't work, and clicking my heels three times and wishing for the programs to load doesn't work, either.

Now, I have no idea whether the customer service people at Handango would like to help me, because the format of getting help at Handango is so cumbersome. But I do know that the folks at Apple Care want to help me.

So what I need to know now is how Apple Care hires and retains such great people. We obviously can learn a great deal from Apple Care. Gosh, if we had Apple Care types running our homeland security, perhaps we'd be even making better decisions about how to protect our country effectively.

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