Friday, January 28, 2011

Simplicity is ... loving your customer

Let me be clear I love the new technology. I love e mail. I love the internet. I believe it’s wonderful to be living through this time of massive change in communications.

BUT …… if you want evidence that small is beautiful and big is ugly in our brave new technological world …. This is classic.

I discovered Mozilla Firefox a couple of years ago and found it to be better than Internet Explorer as my browser.

I had no problems until about a month ago when suddenly, and for no apparent reason to me, Firefox crashed a couple of times. At first it was occasionally crashing until two weeks ago when it crashed at least 6 times a day. This week I was finding it crashed at least 10 times a day. I kept getting the same message about a crash report being submitted to Firefox and I could add my own comments.

My comments got increasingly angry until I finally lost patience two days ago and said that if someone did not respond to me this time – probably my 20th attempt to get a response - I would switch to Internet Explorer.

Nothing came back and so I switched. Explorer is working perfectly. I didn’t want to change; I was very happy with Firefox; I found it much better than Explorer when I originally changed two years ago.

What irritates me most is that Firefox doesn’t seem to employ human beings capable of answering a message and as a result I left them.

I’m really sorry about sacking Firefox but they have lost me as a customer. I often told people Firefox was a great browser; I now tell people the opposite.

I really wonder about customer service in these large impersonal virtual organisations.

Customers matter whether you are a big or a small organisation. At least with a small organisation there is a good chance you can find a human being who is actually alive.

In large institutions I sometimes wonder how you go about finding someone who gives a toss about customers … or if anyone is vaguely interested in the individual …. Dream on Trevor methinks

Complexity is rife in large organisations and yet overlooking the simplicity of recognising and valuing individual needs, means running the risk of losing your loyal customers.

Oh for the Simplicity of loving your customer – why is that so hard to do?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much did you pay to deserve customer support ?

Firefox, unlike Internet explorer, is free and is from Mozilla which is relatively a small org supporting openness, innovation. Firefox is downloaded over billion times and they do not have enough people to respond to all the crash reports!

Check this out for your issues:
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Firefox%20crashes

Trevor Gay said...

"they do not have enough people to respond to all the crash reports!"

I rest my case

Thanks for the link but I've already tried all the tips I can find from those support pages and I've given up through frustration. I don’t have enough time to spend hours trying to sort these things when another browser is the background that works perfectly for me. In the end it was easier and a much more efficient and less frustrating use of my time to transfer my bookmarks/favourites and start again with IE than to put up with constant crashes and wasted time trying to fix them with noi success.

Good luck to Mozilla and please know I absolutely loved Firefox - it was brilliant for me - my gripe is simply that they obviously cannot be bothered t make it easy for loyal supporters like me to stay with them. That is called caring for your customer.

You confirm precisely what I say that big, virtual organisations are not in touch with the loyal people who support them most! – The irony is that you call them ‘small’ – so why do they not have more people to help punters like me?

Google is free; SKYPE is free but both have human beings available to help if I need it.

Anonymous said...

That's one of my biggest beefs too, Trevor- why ask for comments if you're not going to respond?!

Lois Gory

Trevor Gay said...

It really is not rocket science is it Lois? :-)

J.KANNAN said...

Trevor,

"Simplicity is not merely loving your customer but............Simply love your customer. Now please clarify...........where does it say one has to pay to become a customer and deserve customer support??????According to me any user of a product or service is a customer by all means and standards and becomes eligible and desrves customer care/support and that's it the rule of the law or game what ever one may like to describe and no argument beyond this Sir.........and "First impression is the best impression" and you had proved it with your own bitter experience with MFF.

Trevor, I too had problems with Mozilla Fire Fox in the past and have come back to Explorer which I have deserted thinking that MFF will be better and it has been proved to be contrary to the facts.

The very meaning of "Fire Fox "is " Hot & Cunning" and how can you expect the Hot & Cunning to employ sufficient man power and support its customers???? and for Fire Fox it is running Brisk and loosing its loyal customers without any Risk and that's all I can say and conclude.

J.K

Trevor Gay said...

JK - REAL customer care does not take account of how much the customer 'pays' - that misses the point entirely!!

Real customer care is simply about 'loving' your customer.

J.KANNAN said...

Trevor,

Yes of course.Real customer care is simply loving your customer with adequate and timely customer support,proper customer care soft customer inter-action etc. etc. without countimng money as the customer "Counts on You".........believe it being present need for all customers ,being very genuine and reasonable.........................
and believe me Trevor being in the Service Industry I had worked for the past +34years towards this attitude and outlook with all my customers without any exception and I haven't lost any customers so far at the cost of my service,support and customer care being unattended to timely and effectively.

J.K

J.K

hucknjim said...

Trevor,

Sorry to hear you abandoned Firefox. I had the same experience with Chrome, the browser from Google and deleted it after only a few sessions. On the other hand, IE is so full of security holes that I abandoned it in favor of FF long ago and have had no problems at all. Expereiences differ.

I've heard and read that IE 9, now in beta, will be much more secure. But until it's in general release I'd encourage you to try another alternative browser. I've tried Opera but preferred Firefox for the multitude of add ons from which I can pick and choose.

I know this response is off topic, but to paraphrase one of the tech blogs I subscribe to, I'd like you to stay safe out there.

John

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks John and I very much agree with you.

The point I was making that was not understood by another commenter was that Firefox simply do not respond and I am therefore left with no alternative but to move.

I simply can’t work with my PC crashing 20 or so times every day. It’s both annoying and frustrating.

I was very impressed with Firefox - in fact it was brilliant for me until a month or so ago and I said that.

Personally my preferred option would be to stay with Firefox but I can’t get to communicate with a human being in that organisation to answer my questions..... So I gave up.... This is the most annoying thing – they have lost a loyal customer and they either don’t care or they don’t know! – It’s a huge lesson in customer care in my book

As a matter of interest John IE has been great so far but I hear what you say Sir!

Trevor Gay said...

"I had worked for the past +34years towards this attitude and outlook with all my customers without any exception and I haven't lost any customers so far at the cost of my service,support and customer care being unattended to timely and effectively."

That does not surprise me at all JK - I can imagine you placing massive emphasis on delighting your customer.

J.KANNAN said...

Trevor,

If I don't place massive emphasise on my customers with good care and support it goes without saying that Iam inviting trouble for my existence in my industry which is facing hectic healthy as well cut throat competition...............and I always bear in mind......"If I don't take care of my customers......SOMEBODY ELSE WILL."

J.K

Trevor Gay said...

A healthy and positive approach JK - I am not at all surprised by your style - it comes across in all that you say. It always amazes me that some see customers as an inconvenience. Customers are central to everything we do - indeed the purpose of what we do surely!

J.KANNAN said...

Trevor,

As a matter of fact in earlier time we used to call "CUSTOMER AS KING" and respect them..............and those times are over and the latest trend I follow is "CUSTOMER IS GOD" and we worship them as it is the customer who supports us in business/service for our daily square meals,Car/or any other mode of Travel and other facilities that we enjoy day today. We earn money out of our customers for our comfortable living and every one has to bear this truth in mind,treat/conduct customers comfortable/appropriately with best of service and support without any compromises.

And there is also a good old saying....We can't spell S(U)CCESS without "U" C(U)STOMERS and this is becoming watch word and quote of every day for those who deal interact with customers.

J.K

JOHN O'LEARY said...

I can relate, Trevor. But isn't it the same situation with Blogger? I've never been able to find a way to contact a customer service rep. It's great that the service is free——like Firefox——but frustrating when you encounter a problem and have to wade through discussion forums.

Trevor Gay said...

JK - some great advice there for anyone involved with customers thank you

John - I'd be more than happy to pay something if it meant I could speak to a human being easily

Dale said...

Trevor - This world is losing the personal touch, you know, a warm smile, a kind word, a listening ear, a compassionate heart, an understanding mind.

All things which our creator endowed us with so that we could build relationships and be kind, loving and helpful to one another and to society.

Relationships are changing and the sanctity of marriage which is the basis for family and relationships is under attack. It is easier to sleep in with no

commitment. Such is the world that we now have to talk to machines, programme computers, wait on line just to hear a recorded response.

This is one of the downsides of living in the modern cities, the concrete jungles, where people are stepping on toes and heads to make it to the top and no one

hardly gives a hand up anymore. Some operations can be run by one man and a dog, the man pushes the buttons and the dog is there to keep him company.

Thanks

Dale

Trevor Gay said...

"Some operations can be run by one man and a dog, the man pushes the buttons and the dog is there to keep him company."

Love that Dale .... and in my experience of some companies the dog is more helpful :-)

Business Plans said...

According to me any user of a product or service is a customer by all means and standards and becomes eligible and deserves customer care/support and that's it the rule of the law or game what ever one may like to describe and no argument beyond this Sir. Trevor being in the Service Industry I had worked for the past +34years towards this attitude and outlook with all my customers without any exception and I haven't lost any customers so far at the cost of my service, support and customer care being unattended to timely and effectively. Personally my preferred option would be to stay with Firefox but I can’t get to communicate with a human being in that organization to answer my questions....

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