Britain's biggest indigenous PC maker, Tiny, is aiming to raise customer service standards with a 10-point customer charter and 100 new staff at its call centre.
"Creating satisfied customers relies largely on managing their expectations," said customer services director James Sanders. "We can show what we can do for a customer but we also need to make it very clear what we can't do and why."
Hence the charter contains nothing revolutionary when compared to conventional retail, but it makes Tiny's service offering transparent. And, unlike some manufacturer's warranties, Tiny covers the peripherals it supplies. "We're the one with the contract with the customer; it's beholden on us to sort it out," said Sanders.
Tiny outsources its customer service and technical support to two companies — InkFish and Computercare — but these firms contain 'escalation teams' who can pass awkward problems up the management chain and into Tiny's engineering division until a solution is found.
That 10-point charter in full…
1. Price promise: customers will always get the lowest possible price for their system.
2. Delivery times: free delivery or chargeable to specify morning, afternoon, evening or Saturday morning.
3. Home coaching: for £79, customers can have their machines unpacked and set up.
4. Aftersales support: a choice of four clearly written warranty packages.
5. No-claims bonus: a refund against a second purchase if no claims were made against a five-year warranty.
6. Premier Club rewards: 25 percent discount on Tiny products for five- and three-year warranty customers.
7. Three strikes rule: if the same hardware component fails three times within 12 months of purchase, Tiny will upgrade the whole machine for free.
8. Online support: customers will be able to access self-service web- and email-based support.
9. Refer a friend: free gifts for those who introduce new customers.
10. No hidden extras.