“The tussle to tame technology is not new. With many tech options, getting gadgets to work together isn’t easy. Consumers are fumbling through thick manuals, holding on customer-support phone lines, searching for tech experts or driving themselves mad. They’re also losing patience, sleep and tempers, says a survey of 2,551 Americans, released today by Harris Interactive and software firm RightNow Technologies,” Jon Swartz reports for USA Today.
Swartz reports, “About 85% of those polled said they’ve become so flustered, they’ve ended up swearing, shouting, experiencing chest pains, crying or smashing things. Slightly more than half said not being able to get a live person on the phone was their greatest frustration, according to the Oct. 9-11 survey. Seven out of 10 people polled said representatives weren’t trained adequately.”
Swartz reports, “The potential financial consequences for the multibillion-dollar home-PC and consumer-electronics industries are huge, say tech analysts. The difference between companies boasting superior support and those who stumble translates to revenue and market share during what is traditionally the busiest quarter for tech vendors, says Roger Kay, president of technology consultancy Endpoint Technologies Associates. Products provoking the most frustration: PCs, digital cameras and DVD players.”
“The benefits of simple, elegant products extend beyond goodwill from customers. Companies that excel in usability can improve their return on such investment more than 10,000 times, estimates Randolph Bias, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information and co-author of Cost-Justifying Usability,” Swartz reports.
“The landscape, in turn, has created a “great opportunity” for vendors to shine in customer support and pick up customers… Apple and Sony generally earn high marks for support because their technicians understand their products well and tend to be long-term employees, tech analyst Kay says,” Swartz reports.
“With the prospect of more charges for fixing already expensive gear, most consumers would be resentful. But Gideon Orbach, 34, a chiropractor in New York, says he could only wish he was near the center,” Swartz reports.
Swartz reports, “Almost from the moment he bought a $1,400 laptop from a major PC maker late last year, its circuit board was acting up. After 15 calls to the PC maker’s tech support hotline and shipping the laptop to a facility in Tennessee, the problem deepened. The ‘repaired’ laptop came back with a different Windows operating system that was incompatible with all of Orbach’s software. Exasperated, he eventually bought a Macintosh and sold the forlorn laptop for a loss on eBay. ‘If I can cut into (the vendor’s) market share by one computer with my story, it will make my day,’ the soft-spoken Orbach says.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ampar” for the heads up.]
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