Thursday, October 24, 2013

Saving on Customer Service: How About Losing 6 Trillion Dollars?

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For eight long years, we had the same cable and internet provider, their customer service was bad, representatives were rude, service technicians did not come on time (in spite of the four-hour windows) and when they arrived, they were scarcely able to fix any problem the first time around. And worse: the cable stopped working whenever there was a game! But we persisted: There was just no other viable alternative. The provider and the county had a franchise agreement effectively shutting any competition and so the “oligopoly” persisted. Then we moved and had an alternative, so we changed the provider. Two years later, we are still getting the promotional material from the original provider with promises of great service, discounted rates, and upfront cash-cards – every single week with no break and never a disruption! If only they had shown a small fraction of that dedication/persistence when we were still doing business. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From Google, with Love

imageNew and expanding warehouses in all metro areas, same day delivery, free shipping over $25, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, customer reviews, suggestions, hundreds of categories, millions of items offered through its “marketplace”, a large number of them “fulfilled by Amazon”: It looks like when it comes to retail, it has (mostly) been about Amazon in recent years. They set the standard and other (brick and mortar) retailers try to catch-up!

Most recently, two Amazon initiatives namely the same-day delivery and Amazon Fresh have generated a lot of buzz and discussions about how other retailers can or cannot compete. Now here comes a potential white-knight for these retailers from an unlikely source: Google.