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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hard drives

Last night, at the annual general meeting of the Ottawa-Carleton Home Builders' Association, my laptop "died". Thankfully, I know the 'drill' in dealing with this kind of situation and have a functioning desktop computer (where all core files are stored, with further backup). So, within about two hours of discovering the problem, I had resolved it with Dell techies in India, who arranged for a fresh hard drive to be shipped to me under warranty.

Not a problem, you might say. Well, perhaps as a monitoring tool, once the technician had processed the order for the replacement drive (which is supposed to arrive within two days), his supervisor came on the line to ask how things went. Good move, for feedback. But the report I gave would not inspire any 'wows' for customer service.

Sure, I told the supervisor, everything worked okay. I didn't have to wait TOO long on the phone for the technical support, we were able to clarify the problem and resolve it in one call, and I am not in crisis. But thinking about the systems and instinctive knowledge I had -- and the good fortune of having a standalone functioning computer nearby -- I thought what a horrible experience this would be for someone with less technical knowledge (and for a technician with someone with no knowledge).

I guess I shouldn't complain, but sometimes wonder how things could be truly improved to make the whole experience more satisfying than frustrating. It is a good question -- because when these things happen, they really can either leave a good or bad impression. In this instance, Dell receives a passing grade; not an A+ however.

Our bi-weekly newsletter will go out tomorrow (Thursday). Lots of stuff, hopefully useful, all free, will be in it. If you wish to subscribe, just complete the registration at the top of this blog. If you want the newsletter to stop, you can do it easily when you receive it.

P.S., if your market is within the residential construction sector, and you wish to use your limited marketing dollars wisely, consider joining your local HBA. These groups enjoy very close and good-spirited relationships; and supplier/client relationships are enhanced within the association context. It is an ideal environment for marketing to build longer-term relationships. In Ottawa, especially, the OCHBA adheres strongly to its motto: "Be a member -- Do business with a member". The OCHBA's website is at

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