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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Understanding PC Sources, Vendors and Prices | Vendor Evaluation Factors ]

Customer Service

A very important consideration when selecting a vendor or manufacturer, especially one that you would like to establish a long-term relationship with, is its commitment to customer service. To some extent, this is a lost art in today's world, where so many people only seem to care about low prices--and so many vendors focus only on providing them.

Time is money, and a company that cares about service and treats you well often more than makes up for having slightly higher costs. If you look for them, you will find companies that still care about servicing their customers. A company that focuses on service can provide you with a much better overall buying experience than one that has great prices but makes the purchase a nightmare.

When buying a PC, another important reason to assess a company's customer service level is that it demonstrates strongly what the company thinks of service overall. As a general rule, the service, support and manner of treatment that you get from a firm will be its best before you buy, because they know they are competing for your business. After they have your money, you're a "captive audience" and many companies will treat you worse than they did before the sale; but if the service is bad to begin with, how much worse will it be after you've already ordered?

In this section I take a look at several issues related to customer service in a PC systems or components vendor or manufacturer. First I will talk about how the company communicates with its customers, and then talk about the order fulfillment process, and how to assess the company's salespeople. Then I will talk about assessing delivery and payment options, and conclude by looking at some issues related to online vendor service.

Next: Communication Methods and Efficiency


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