Above and Beyond Customer Service
Earlier this year I abandoned two full loads of laundry while I drove up the road to a laundromat where I could exchange a $5 bill for quarters. To me it wasn’t worth taking out the detergent-soaked clothes, hauling them to the laundromat, and paying double the price per load that my apartment’s machines charge. I just needed the quarters. I found myself in this predicament because each of my apartment’s machines can be activated by coins or by a smartphone app, but the app, which I was counting on, wasn’t connecting that day. I had no choice but to reach out to the app developers and wait for a response. I was eventually told, “Everything looks good on our end, check the machines,” but by the time I got that response my laundry was nearly finished. Later that night, I discovered that my maintenance request to my apartment complex was denied as well. The laundry had gotten done but I was more bothered by the lack of communication than the failed technology.
I doubt that many of you have experienced this exact situation, but the frustration from lack of communication or resolution is certainly familiar to all of us. We have all reached out for help, only to be left helpless. When we get no response–or worse, a robotic response–we somehow feel more helpless than before. Emails, texts, voicemails, or a recorded list of options to navigate on the phone only strengthen our one immediate desire: talking to a human. We want someone with knowledge, someone whose mind is not pre-programmed, and most unimaginably, someone who cares.
I hate impersonality, and I’m sure you do too. I’ve had enough encounters with long holds, automated responses, and full call queues to make me feel that way. These encounters have made me grateful that our Circuit Board Medics customer support team is anything but robotic. Not only do they make a personal connection with each caller, they often give more assistance than what a standard sales call would necessitate. One of our customers, Lisa, received personal service that surpassed her expectations. She was so thankful that she relayed her story in a 5 star review. I reached out to her for more details; she was happy to share.
“I have to say that my expectations were pretty low going into this whole project. The dryer is more than 10 years old and the circuit board had actually caught fire. The original part was no longer available so my options were to buy a new dryer–more than $800, along with the hassle of trying to find one in stock that I liked, all during a pandemic-related appliance shortage!–or to buy a used circuit board for about $300 from an unknown vendor on eBay. Your website offered me the chance to have my own board repaired for about $100.”
She took the chance, shipped her board in, and we sent it back repaired. Because it tested well for us, we expected it to restore her dryer immediately. That was sadly not the case. Upon reinstalling the board, Lisa discovered that the dryer display worked but the actual drying cycle would not. So, she emailed us describing her issues and asked for help. This is always the wisest decision when your circuit board isn’t working like it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, so many people have had bad experiences with impersonal service that they expect coldness from every company and are reluctant to ask for help. Our customer-oriented service surprises quite a few people. Yes, we’re a company that wants to sell our services and products, but we also care about restoring normalcy to the lives of each of our customers.
Lisa admits that after the repaired board didn’t fix her dryer, her expectations continued to be low.
“I figured that there was still something wrong with the board–I had gambled $100 and probably lost.”
At this point, Lisa may have been proven right if she had been working with a purely transactional company. At worst, another company may have responded with a robotic apology and kept her money; at best, they may have refunded the repair cost. Either way, she would have been left with an inoperable dryer. That’s why we stand out in a world where the normal practice seems to be putting forth the minimum effort. Rather than treating our customer interactions as merely transactions, we strive to treat each transaction as a relationship. Each and every one of our customer support representatives has been trained to troubleshoot issues beyond what our repair normally fixes. Lisa experienced this above-and-beyond service.
“The customer service rep was very helpful. Absolutely wanted to help solve the problem.”
Fortunately for Lisa, she was connected with Eric, one of our representatives who helps with post-repair issues.
“[Eric] sent me the schematics for my dryer and suggested checking the specific fuses that were related to my problem. The other thing that helped was that I found a video showing exactly how to check a dryer fuse. We had tried previously but were not doing it correctly. With the added information, it took us about 5 minutes to identify the fuse that had blown…With the new fuse we were immediately back in business. Turns out my $100 gamble paid off!”
At Circuit Board Medics, we don’t sell fuses, nor do we offer repair services besides the circuit board. However, since we are determined to restore the functionality of an appliance (or vehicle), we help anyone who is having post-repair issues. Sometimes we can diagnose the root cause, as in Lisa’s case, and sometimes we direct customers to the next troubleshooting step. This sort of service is more time-consuming for us, but we are committed to helping our customers. I sat down with Eric and was able to discuss the situation with Lisa’s dryer from his perspective.
“We’re not looking for more calls to make, we get plenty of calls. We’re just trying to stick with it and follow up and make sure customers are taken care of in the end.” When asked about which of our core values he believes we embody best in these situations, Eric quickly replied, “For us to continue to help and serve beyond the parts we normally service, that to me is an example of grit.”
When my laundry was soaked and I received no help from the only two resources that could help, I felt reduced to a mere IT ticket number. Nobody was willing to go above or beyond for my sake. That’s an attitude we strive to avoid in every area at Circuit Board Medics. If we view the machines we restore without considering how that machine affects you, then we’ve failed. We care about solving people’s problems, not just problems with their machines. We’re doing more than fixing broken circuit boards–we’re fixing vehicles so that your kids can be dropped off at school; we’re fixing ovens so that your holiday meals can be baked; and we’re fixing dryers so that your load of laundry can be finished. Adequate service may resolve these problems, but the excellent service we provide also sees and cares about how those problems affect you.