Technology struck again this weekend as my dual monitor set up went on the fritz. In the middle of editing photos one of my monitors, a Dell U2414H, starting flickering and flashing intermittently. I tried switching out cables, using a different computer, checking to make sure my drivers were updated and even factory reset my settings on the dysfunctional monitor to no avail.

My first thoughts turned to the fact that I was out $200, but hope returned after checking the product number and seeing that my warranty lasted until 2021. When it comes to contacting customer support for warranties, horror stories are abound on the internet. This post isn’t a horror story, but rather three takeaways in providing customers a great support service that will maintain their brand loyalty:

1. Hold Times Need to be Short with Limited Transfers

One of the greatest ways to frustrate a customer is to have them sit in silence on hold for a lengthy period of time. Everyone has a busy schedule with limited time to dial in for assistance. Customer support services need to be timely and quick in responding to their needs so precious time isn’t wasted.

It’s also frustrating to have a line transferred to multiple departments after being placed on hold. Transfer failure is one of several leading causes for call fail rates, making it important that customers aren’t jostled around to reach the right person who can help them.

During my call with Dell my hold time spanned less than two minutes. After presenting my product warranty number to the customer support representative, I was transferred to a single person who walked me through the troubleshooting process during my call.

2. Communication needs to be clear and concise

Toward the end of my call I was directed to the customer support representative’s manager, who asked me a series of questions regarding my experience. One of the questions he asked was if communication was clear and if my customer service representative was easy to understand. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but looking back a common issue customers have is when they can’t easily understand the representative they’re speaking with.

Frustration builds as the call time slowly increases, things are repeated or misunderstood and the process becomes muddled as both parties try to de-escalate growing tension. The customer service representative needs to be easy to understand and provide clear direction for the customer to follow to make the support process as painless as possible, leading into my final takeaway:

3. The support process needs to be as painless as possible

There’s impending dread at what lies ahead when returning products or troubleshooting issues. My biggest concern regarding calling Dell was that it would take serious effort on my part to send in my defective U2414H monitor, pay shipping and handling fees, only to not receive a replacement monitor for several weeks.

This entire thought process almost made me reconsider taking the effort to call their customer support line, but I’m glad that I did. My customer support representative asked me several questions regarding my issue, we walked through potential steps to rectify my issue, and when these steps didn’t work he asked for my U2414H’s S/N number to start the process of providing a replacement. The call lasted 40 minutes, but the same representative stayed on the line with me, never transferred or placed me on hold, provided clear instructions and communicated via email for long skew numbers that might be misinterpreted if repeated verbally on the phone.

Dell is sending me a replacement monitor in the mail; all I have to do is attach the return label and place my defective monitor in the box of the replacement monitor and send it back to Dell at no cost or inconvenience to myself. My replacement monitor should take approximately 3-5 business days to arrive at my house.


Tales from Tech Support: 3 Customer Service Support Takeaways from Dell Support Recap

When it comes to customer support, I’ve highlighted a few experiences that I’ve had with Siteground and my lien holder for my car loan. Dell has added another great experience to my tech support tales through offering a clear and easy communication process. The warranty is painless to execute on and it was way to end my call by speaking with the customer support representative’s manager to ensure that I had a quality experience. It gave the impression that the brand cared about me as an individual consumer, helping to strengthen my brand loyalty and future use of Dell products (namely Ultrasharp monitors).


Laz’s Question of the Day: Tales from Tech Support Afterthoughts

Do you have any experiences with a company’s tech support or customer service department? If so, did they handle your concerns well or poorly? What could they have done better in addressing your concerns? Let me know in the comments below!