Sunday, July 13, 2008

Is Customer Service King?

Today, I witnessed the third day of madness at the local Apple Store with people waiting in long lines for their new 3G iphone. Despite all of the problems that are associated with the phone – activation, bugs, applications etc – people still continued to wait in extraordinarily long lines for them. (at least today Apple provided line goers with oversized umbrellas to stay out of the sun)

See some of the problems:
- Fortune Article
- Fortune Article
- Racked
- Gearlog
- Engadget
- Huffington Post

Since this is the second release of the iphone, and it has been, once again, a disaster it makes one start to think whether customer service is truly important. Can it simply be disregarded with an innovative and interesting product? Is that age-old belief of standing by the customer just a bunch of garbage? Possibly.

Apple is not the only brand left out there where customer service is ignored, just look at Twitter – the micro-blogging site that has caught fire as of late. It is riddled with server issues, but people continue to use it religiously. Why?

Problems on Twitter:
- Annoying Design
- TechCrunch
- Scobleizer

As long as there is limited competition out there customer service can be ignored. People want a particular item and they will do whatever it takes to get it – a la people losing their minds over the iphone. However, as others figure out how to compete service becomes a major factor in choosing between brands. If they don’t wake up in time brands who ignore customer service will be chasing instead of leading.

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