Friday, June 10, 2011

Top Ten Tips for Software Customer Service

Warning - this post is actually a bit of rant... and a public service announcement... the alternate title might be "how to lose a customer in ten easy lessons."


1. Sell the Software as a Download Only product.  It saves you costs in manufacturing, packaging, shipping... and heck, your Customer didn't really want a box with a CD and instructions right? Cause we all know that all software these days is simply "install and play" right?

2. Offer a Back Up Disc at an additional fee.  Because customers LOVE to pay extra money for the privilege of getting another copy of something they already paid for.  And it's not like your program isn't ridiculously overpriced to begin with. So why not upsell?

3. Make Sure to Send a Disc that is Corrupt and doesn't work.  Because when your Customer actually needs it, that corrupt disc will cause them to call you - at which point you'll have an opportunity to sell them another one!

4. Don't Offer a Manual, Tutorials, or any information on how your product works. Printing manuals is expensive. And who needs it?  Hey, your customer can get all that on the Internet! And they don't mind spending hours clicking from one site to another trying to figure it all out...like a scavenger hunt. Or paying extra to purchase an online class.  Seriously, it's all good.

5. Make Sure Your Support is Email ONLY.  Because customers certainly don't want or need an immediate answer to their problems. The glitch they are experiencing isn't a life or death matter; it can wait!  They don't need to talk on the phone or chat online to get things resolved quickly. And those 800# phone calls and staff for a chat center really impact your bottom line.  Anyway, customers like sending an email and waiting... really... no reeeeeally - they do!

6. Take Ten Days to Answer Email. Literally. Ten. Days. Each and every time they email you. I mean go ahead and post on your website that average response time is three days [subject to lengthier turn around in periods of high volume.]  But never ever ever respond sooner than TEN DAYS.  Because Customers love to wait when they have a pressing problem.  See #5 if you don't believe me!

7. Allow only 30 Days from Purchase for Download.  If the customer hasn't downloaded in 30 days, surely they didn't really want the product anyway.  And there would never be a reason to need to re-download the software after the 30 day window.

8. Bury your Contact Information so deep within your website that Customers will never find it. It saves you a lot of harassing phone calls.  Besides, customers don't really want to talk to you anyway. See #5.

9. Staff Your Call Center with Rude, Insensitive People. Just in case one of those pesky customers actually gets through, you don't want somebody sweet and polite on the phone.  That would just encourage the customer to call again.  And you certainly don't want that.

10. Stick to Your 30 Day Download Policy.  Regardless of the customer's sob story.  Computer virus?  Crashed hard drive? Toddler spilled soda on the machine and fried it? Not your problem - you gave them what they paid for - a single download of your product.  Okay, not like you even offered a multiple download option or anything, but really, how many customers could possibly need it anyway?  While the Customer is in the depths of despair over the loss of so much information and work, offer to SELL them a back-up disc for an additional fee.  Don't back down, even when they tell you the first back-up disc they bought was corrupt and never worked.

This post is brought to you courtesy of Shimelle's Ten Things from the "Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers" class and my current love affair with ACDSee's Customer Service.



20 comments:

helena said...

love your art journal pages - I'm goign to use them as inspiration to loosen up in how I create in mine.

Ruth said...

You made me laugh, but poor customer service is not a joke at all, is it?

Ginger said...

Yikes! That so frustrating Cheri! They must have gone to the same customer service school as my previous phone carrier :) Your journal pages are fab and I hope your weekend is relaxing!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Haha. LOVE this post, Cheri!!! And your art journal page is fabulous to go with it. This is a great post. xo

Melissa said...

Oh goodness Cheri, it doesn't sound like the week is getting any better yet! This is great writing though, I laughed because I can totally relate. Sad, isn't it.

scrappyjacky said...

A great post,Cheri....it sounds like you could be writing about Tom Tom [the sat nav company]....who gave us very similar behaviour....so now we own a Garmin instead.

furrypig said...

oh no that is so awful! No wonder you were annoyed. You did manage to write it in such an amusing way though xxx

quiltingfool said...

Hopefully writing is cathertic for you! Sounds like you've had a really "great" experience! Don't forget to go on their site and leave a review of their customer service. Sometimes they miss the bad ones and it actually gets printed.

Hope things calm down for you soon before you blow a gasket!

Photographing Mom said...

Great post and hugs for the lousy customer service!!!

Connie said...

Isn't that the truth~super cute journal pages!!

Denise said...

Really enjoyed reading your post today Cgeri, and your art jpurnal page is fab :-)

MonicaB said...

This list made me laugh because I've thought this exact same things. Great job!

Rebekah said...

Oh yes, another hearty agreement from this corner! What a creative way to express all this frustration...here's to a better week ahead.

Becky said...

Oh dear, hope that writing this list has helped you to get rid of your frustration! Love your art journal pages :)

Sherry C said...

Interesting list! I hope all is better now. Love your art journal!

Jo.C said...

A great way to get things of your chest - I bet you feel better now. Have a great weekend

photosglitterglue said...

It seems alot of companies no longer know what customer service is. Great list.

Heather said...

poor you :( Hope you feel better for getting that off your chest Cheri! I think you have put into words what all of us have experienced in one way or another. Your journal pages are great xx

WendyB said...

Sorry you had such terrible service but brilliant list of ten.

Cheryl said...

Oh, this sounds like a dreadful customer service experience, but I really enjoyed the way you told it. So creative!