Brand Loyalty – My Samsung Story

Written by Tammy Durden

In order to build brand loyalty, good customer support (or client care) is a must. Today I will be sharing a personal experience with customer support and how it has influenced my brand loyalty to Samsung. Let me take you on a journey to share why customer support and brand loyalty go hand in hand.

My Story With Samsung

The Beginning

When I make purchases I do a lot of research. I do not just buy on a whim but make a very decisive choice before purchasing. Therefore, when I purchased my new Samsung Galaxy laptop last year I was very excited. The laptop was not inexpensive.

Your Customer Support’s Importance

I recently spent an hour+ on Chat with Samsung Customer Support because my barely one-year-old laptop’s charger had died. I simply wanted a replacement. Yet after an hour or more I still did not get anywhere other than the suggestion of sending back my entire LAPTOP!!!

I know what you are probably thinking, “what’s the big deal with sending it back?

I would agree with you, except that it really is a big deal. The reason is because of my past experience with Samsung‘s customer support. Yes, I’ve already had a few experiences with their support. In fact, I had to send back my laptop before it was a year old.

Keep in mind that this is my business laptop. Fortunately, my husband allowed me to use his much slower laptop but I was grateful that I had something to use for my daily work.

Let me share my experience prior to the charger not working.

Less Than A Year In

Less than a year after owning my new laptop I began having trouble with it flashing and suddenly the screen went black on and off for periods. It started as only seconds and then lasted longer until finally one day the screen simply would not come on. The laptop was on but the screen showed nothing. Thus begins my unfortunate story and the reason why I know customer support (client care) can significantly help your brand loyalty or fail it totally.

The Only Solution

As I said, this is my business computer and although I know I should have another as back up I did not. I had purchased the expensive extended warranty so I thought surely they had a local option to have my laptop fixed.

A Little Background

Statistically, laptops only last 2 to 3 years now. Keeping in line with these I seem to go through laptops every two to three years. This seems like a big business expense to have but a necessary one as well.

To be fair I work on my laptop 6 to 12 hours a day most days. I have never, however, had any that needed repairs before the first year was up!

Contacting Support

After contacting customer support I found out the only way I could have my less-than-year-old Samsung fixed was to send it back to them. So off we went to purchase a box (because yes, I threw away the original – I know, no need to say to anything) at the UPS store with padding (nearly $30) and sent it off for repair.

I’ll share a few things about this particular repair process.

The Good Thing About Their Repair Process

I’m not one to only focus only on negatives so I will say this, they were pretty fast in returning my laptop. My laptop was returned to me within approximately 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. I was updated via text or I could call a number to find out where they were in the process of my repair. These are about the only good things I can say at this point.

Where Can They Improve

Let’s dig into what they could do differently.

The first thing is that they fixed Items that did not need repair. They replaced not only what was needed, the screen, but they also decided to replace parts that did not need it when I sent it out.

  1. Outside Case* – they said it was scratched. I knew it was scratched and believe me that did not matter.
  2. Hinges – I do not understand the need to replace these even if changing the case why could you not use the same hinges?
  3. Keyboard – they also replaced my keyboard, which was not broken either.

*When I called customer support and asked why the outer casing was replaced they said it had scratches on it. They used the extended warranty and replaced it. What? This also meant that the normal warranty was canceled out to use the extended warranty. Therefore all parts would have been covered by the extended warranty coverage and not the manufacturer’s warranty which should have covered the screen.

My Biggest Surprise

My biggest surprise came when I started the laptop. As I opened it, excited to have my laptop back again, my excitement turned to horror. Samsung wiped My laptop Clean!!!

All of my work – all data – all media – all client data – ALL GONE!

Imagine my horror! I KNOW what you are thinking about now, “why didn’t you have it backed up?” The simple truth is that I thought my laptop was backing up regularly to the cloud and I thought I was covered – I was not!!! There was very little that I could recover.

Customer Support Of No Help

I called customer support, the tech division, to find out what happened. Customer Support had no answers. They went as far as to say that there were no repairs that should have done this.

Back To The Current Customer Service Problem

After my experience with the previous repairs now my charger was not working. And they (Samsung Global) want me to send it back to them again! No, I do not think so!

After finally reaching out to another person on customer support who said the same thing – send in the entire laptop. I indicated that I had already tested it with another Samsung charger (my son has Samsung products and let me borrow a charger) and knew this was the issue. They still wanted the entire laptop.

Supervisor Is No Help

I asked to speak with a supervisor. This also got me no results. I told them my disappointment with Samsung and how I wanted to be in love with their brand. When I purchased my laptop I was happy to see they had trade-in values if you upgraded later to another new Galaxy Laptop. I would have happily traded it in within a few years and been a loyal customer. Now, however, I will probably never again purchase a Samsung product of any kind!!!

Finally, the supervisor informed me that my extended warranty does not cover the charger. Since they had used the extended warranty for the previous repairs I was now under this warranty.

I believe we can all learn a few lessons from my terrible experience with Samsung’s failed Customer Service. I wanted to share these lessons with you and why customer support is so important to your brand loyalty.

This is the end of the rant. If you are a regular reader you know I do not usually use this platform to share a personal rant but that is how frustrated I am with the Samsung brand.

Lessons We Can Learn

1. Loss of loyal future brand purchases – because of their failure to make this right they lost any future business I would have given. I would have made more brand, not just computer, purchases if I had a good experience with their customer support and tech employees.

2. I would have purchased more laptops – I was looking forward to being a loyal brand user for years to come. I love that they have a trade-in program and hoped to take advantage of this in the future. If they cannot keep my current laptop working properly, however, why would I purchase another?

More Lessons to Learn

3. Empower Your Customer Support (esp. Supervisors) to have some pull or a little grace to be able to actually solve a problem out of the box – not all problems can follow the book. I spent over an hour on that dang chat and finally had to ask for a supervisor who in turn could not do anything either. Please empower your support personnel to be able to truly solve people’s problems (esp. at the supervisor level).

Why is it necessary for me to return the entire laptop? I only need a new CHARGER for goodness sake? By the way, a new charger costs over $35 so it will be over $40 with shipping.

I’m sure the cost to Samsung would be far less to replace my charger than my article influencing others (not that I am a big ‘Influencer). Even if only one person decides not to purchase a Samsung in the future after reading it. The cost to them is far greater than one charger!

4. Restore goodwill when needed. If they simply had replaced the charger it would have restored some goodwill to a customer who is in need of it.

Allow customer support personnel to determine if they have a customer who has had a difficult time with your company product/services to do a little something for that customer – you never know how much business that could be for you in the future!

This story really should not have been necessary and really is unfortunate. I was so excited last year to purchase my laptop but now I wish I never had because it’s been one issue after another. Maybe I got a lemon but I’m not taking a chance on you again, Samsung.

Tammy Durden - Business & Marketing Coach
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