This week there has been a lot of talking back and forth (again on the ASAE Listserv) about AMS solutions. One thing that I have noticed in the discussions about overall investment is how long you'll have to live with your investment. Some people say 3-5 years while others have said 5-10. Either way, it is a long time. Over that time you will thoroughly test a company's software and their customer service – the ability to quickly respond to your problems. A big factor in product purchases these days is customer support. In
fact we were just talking about customer support for our DSL. Whether it be a serious issue or quick support question: How quickly is your vendor able to respond to issues you have with your software? This is such a big deal to us that we are willing to pay more per month just so we can talk to an engineer in about a minute with our ISP vs. paying much less with AT&T to get terrible uptime and terrible support.
It's pretty simple. Your support should be good enough where you can send an e-mail or make a phone call and immediately get a response from someone that will immediately take action and begin resolving your problem. That is where Apple's focus is these days.
When Apple competitors are focused on cost reduction to increase
profitability, Apple is investing resources to enhance its relationship
with its customers. To me, that's impressive. Unfortunately, there are
too many companies in the market that could care less about their
customers, but Apple is determined and committed in delivering the
experience and not just the product.
It's regrettably amusing that Apple competitors are working hastily to
develop iPod clones to reap in success, but what many of them fail to
comprehend is that it's not necessarily the iPod that makes Apple
successful, but rather its customer service.
So for sanity's sake, please make sure you are getting the highest level of customer service from your vendor. It makes the product so much more enjoyable for however long its life is.