Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Canon Customer Service Rocks!

This post is off topic. It has nothing to do with debt reduction, real estate or personal finances. However I can't resist a great customer service tale, especially when I'm the beneficiary. Besides, this sort of ties in with my recent post. Read on:

A year ago my beloved Canon Powershot A70 began doing funny things. The LCD viewer was getting grainy and often faded to black.

A friend informed me that this was a commonly recurring problem with Canon digital cameras and that the company would probably repair it for free.

Encouraged, I....um....put it off and did nothing for a year. But I got my buns in gear this month and decided to get the camera fixed. I was pleasantly surprised....shocked even....at the incredibly responsive customer service I received from the folks at Canon.

Judge for yourself. Here's the timeline of my repair experience:
  • Sunday, Feb. 1st - I searched for repair info on the internet and fired off an email to Canon USA
  • Sunday, Feb 1st - 2 minutes later, Canon responded with an automated acknowledgment
  • Sunday, Feb 1st - 10 minutes after my first contact, I was contacted via email by a customer service tech who acknowledged my problem and asked me to run a simple troubleshooting routine to isolate the problem.
  • Sunday, Feb 1st - I ran the test and responded in about 15 minutes to the tech's request.
  • Sunday, Feb 1st - 34 minutes after my initial contact, I received another email from the tech explaining that I would be receiving a prepaid UPS return label and a return authorization form from Canon USA.
  • Tuesday, Feb 3rd - I received, via email, the return label, an online link to track my shipment, shipping instructions and a list of the UPS free drop off points nearest to my house.
  • Wednesday, Feb 4th - I dropped the prepaid package containing my camera into the UPS stream and received a short email survey, asking about my tech support experience.
  • Wednesday, Feb 11th - Canon USA notified me that they received the camera for repair.
  • Friday, Feb 13th - I received an email that repairs were now complete and the camera had been shipped back to me.
  • Monday, Feb 16 - I received my newly repaired camera, shipped 2-day delivery!
This afternoon, I was happily snapping photos of my photogenic wife. Here's a summary of one terrific customer experience:

  • Costs incurred by me: $0
  • Number of times I was contacted by Canon USA: 7
  • Number of years my camera was out of warranty: At least 2
  • Number of days from my first inquiry to taking receipt of my repaired camera: 15
We read and hear so many stories about bad customer service, rude company representatives, and lackadaisical attitudes toward the consumer. I'm heartened by companies who care enough about their business and their customers to put remarkable service systems in place as Canon USA has done. They got it right.

Small businesses have gotten it right for years. This experience gives me great hope for the future of large business in this country.


J. Money said...

Amen brother, amen! Being in customer service myself, i can't tell you now nice it is when people take the time and share some love out there ;) it's easy to be negative and throw up pissy remarks all the time, but it's another to be positive and add goodness to this world!

Great post my friend.

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