Even when the initial user experience of a product is good, the total customer experience suffers when a company ignores service after the sale. We at Design Critique argue that service after the sale IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PRODUCT’S DESIGN because it directly affects the customer experience. Only bad companies isolate product design from customer service design. In Tim’s case, T-Mobile destroyed a loyal, 8-year customer relationship for its monthly prepaid service by
* Refusing to help replace a smart phone under warranty when it broke, in any kind of realistic time frame,
* Refusing to unlock the phone after selling it on the condition it would be unlocked after 90 days, and
* Implying its monthly prepaid customers are not worth helping because only long term contract customers deserve good customer service.
It’s a comedy of errors unless you’re the one who wasted hundreds of dollars and hours of time dealing with T-Mobile’s agressively anti-customer practices. What lessons can we draw from T-Mobile’s mistakes?
One anecdote does not make a statistically significant trend, but anecdotes provide useful insights into the how and why of customer service failures.