Is a Customer Service a Factor When Buying New Tech?

Is a Customer Service a Factor When Buying New Tech?

In this economy it often feels like price is the most important factor when it comes to deciding where to purchase new tech. However, after one too many frustrating experiences with retail brick and mortar and disappointing online shopping, we've come to weigh how our customer service experience as a factor that is equally, if not more important, than the price.

Why do we weigh our shopping experience so heavily as a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing new tech?

1. Expertise
Sure, we know all about this thing called the Internet where one can research till their eyes bleed, but does it make up for talking with someone who is an expert in their field? While we generally shop with a specific model number in mind after doing our research, this is not the case for when we shop with friends and family. Getting to interact with a human being who knows their stuff and is willing to share their knowledge in a non-pushy way is very helpful when we shop for tech with family and friends who are not as tech savvy.

2. Time
One of the benefits of being able to peruse the retail store, outside of leaving with product in hand of course, is being able to try, touch, and compare various models you might be interested in. This of course takes time and if a sales person is willing to give us the time to browse and try the products this goes a long way with our decision in whether to patronize the business. No one likes being hurried, pushed, or hovered over!

2. Encourage Niceness
Think of this piece as sort of the "pay it forward" of electronics shopping. We all know that often the best price comes from shopping online, but isn't it great to reward a nice helpful salesperson? After all, we don't like it when humans that answer phones are replaced by those annoying automated systems that can never understand what we are saying, so why not show retailers that people still make a difference? When someone is particularly nice and helpful we also try to leave a comment card and/ or remark on it in the survey from the retailer. Working in retail can be very draining and stressful and by highlighting their great service to the "higher ups" it is a good way to say thank you for their efforts.

3. Support Indicator
Although we have often gotten stuck with a terrible post-sale experience after a brilliant pre-sale experience, often the pre-sale experience can be a good indicator of what the support experience will be like. If the retailer makes a point to staff their sales floor with knowledgeable people and build up an in house support structure you are more likely to have better overall happiness with your purchase during its life. If you are treated poorly when you are trying to buy the item, what makes you think that obtaining support will be any easier?

What are some of your factors when deciding where to shop for new tech?

(Image: Flickr member Jaysin licensed for use under Creative Commons and Joelle Alcaidinho)

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