Design007 Magazine

Design-Feb2018

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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 The customer comes first. We know the cus- tomer comes first because companies in this industry say so in the "About the company" section of their company websites. A visit to a handful of company sites reveals customer- oriented copy like this: "We're here for our customers." "Your success is our success." "Customers are not an interruption of our work day; they are the reason for our existence." "The customer is always right!" "We're customer-centric." Of course, everyone wants to satisfy their customers. But think for a minute: When was the last time you heard a colleague saying nice things about a supplier's customer service? When did you last experience great customer service from one of your suppliers? At trade shows and conferences, I hear sto- ries about terrible customer service. Fabrica- tors claim to offer on-time-delivery, but many OEMs just accept late delivery as the cost of using a fabricator who is able to build their high-tech boards correctly. On-time- delivery is, for many customers, a mythical goal never to be attained, and the cus - tomers have accepted that fact. Similarly, the PCB design- ers I meet with rarely have anything good to say about their EDA vendor's customer ser- vice. Designers often say something along the lines of, "I really like this tool, but their customer service is awful. I'm still waiting for a call back, and it's a week later. But I love that router." Even retail, which typically boasts higher customer service satisfaction rates than B2B, has its share of issues. For instance, take Com- cast. I love Comcast's super-fast Internet, but if I have a technical problem, it's always a soul- destroying experience. I've moved three times since getting Comcast, and each time, the tech guy forgot about my set-up appointment, even after I called and said, "Don't forget this time!" Comcast knows they have terrible customer service, and they don't care. The IRS, on the other hand, offered me excellent customer service. I owed them some money years ago, after the divorce, and I kept putting off the problem. I wound up working out a plan with some IRS folks who couldn't have been nicer. They'd say, "Don't give us your grocery money. You have to eat!" The experience was so positive for me that I told a lot of my friends how nice the IRS had been to me. It turned me into an IRS marcom guy, spreading the word about the kinder, gentler IRS. That's how every cus- tomer service encounter should end: with the customer telling others about their great experi- ence. Do your custom- The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Customer Service Still a Big Issue

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