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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great Save!

Wouldn't you know it - just before the Stanley Cup Finals, our television started acting up. Not wanting to miss a game, or buy a new TV, I called the Sony Store where I bought it.

Since the set had been off warranty for some time, I was not all that optimistic about my chances of resolving the problem this way, but given my Scottish lineage and faced with the prospect of having to lay out a big wad of cash, figured I had to at least try.

In any event, after a little discussion about the problem (a red line that crossed the screen that was clearly not centre ice) I was given a toll free customer care number to call. Still expecting the worse, I dialed this number with fingers poised in anticipation of having to respond to one of those annoying automated response systems we have all grown to expect when calling such 'services'.

Much to my surprise, the phone was answered by an actual human being, and a very pleasant one at that. Again, I explain the problem to the best of my ability and after a sincere expression of empathy from someone who was obviously a fellow hockey fan, was advised that if I emailed a couple of photos showing the fault, this person would see what they could do.

With the next game only days away, I immediately filled this request and minutes later received a response which outlined a proposed resolution. No, they did not offer to replace the set for free (after all, the set was several years old) but, what they did propose was more than fair and far exceeded my expectations.

To make a long story short, the morning before the next game, a new set was delivered to my door at just about the same time a customer satisfaction survey arrived in my inbox. Needless to say, I completed the survey expressing just how impressed I was with their service. Minutes later, another email arrived thanking me for my patience complete with a coupon attached that I could use against a future Sony purchase.

So say what you want about the amazing goal tending of Boston's Tim Thomas or Vancouver's Roberto Luongo (except in game 3). At least for me, Sony had just made the best save of the series.

I often rant about bad service, particularly when it involves poor after sale problem resolution. I suspect, I've even suggested there are few if any who get this bit right, but these guys clearly do - a quick empathetic response by a real person who's main concern isn't when the warranty ran out, or who is right and who is wrong, but rather, what's fair and what will it take to not only keep the customer, but to exceed their expectations and turn them into a loyal fan and vocale advocate.

Know any others?

P.S. Go Canucks Go!

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