Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Sony Customer Service; second to none?

Recently, I got caught in the whole Sony Vaio TZ fiasco and had to send off my machine for inspection and repair. While annoying that I should be subject to this at all, my experience with the resolution to the problem is actually worth blogging about ;-)

I am extremely impressed with Sony's approach to customer service. They did (almost) everything right :-
  • the 3 working day turnaround (they could easily have made me wait weeks)
  • an apologetic letter enclosed with the returned hardware
  • complimentary 2Gb Sony Microvault memory stick (nice)
  • new Vaio branded screen cleaning cloth (very nice as the one that came with it has seen better days)
  • friendly, helpful and local call centre staff on hand when I called up to check on progress with the repair
  • and last but not least, a nice clean machine and screen with problems resolved (laptops do get gunky after a while)
The only negative thing about the whole process was having to read about the problem in the press rather than being contacted directly by Sony themselves, even though they have my contact details that were registered when I bought the product. OK, it's a voluntary programme so I guess I can let this last point slide.

As far as I am concerned, this is the benchmark by which other companies should do business with their customers. OK, so the hardware isn't cheap, but I think this proves that you do get what you pay for (at least some of the time). It also shows that Sony actually care about and have respect for their customers feelings and opinions.

All this of course, means that Sony will keep their existing customers with the added bonus of the word of mouth effect working in their favour. It is so refreshing to see a company of this size still realising the importantance of customer satisfaction and having a duty of care *after* the sale, rather than stomping all over them or even worse, just ignoring them altogether.

Large unnamed corporates in competing hardware businesses would do well to take note of Sony's impressive example.