Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Where's the Love? After Sales Service...


In an industry asking the customer to spend several thousand dollars (and often quite a bit more), it is shocking the lack of actual support that some brands really offer the customer when something goes wrong.  And I will share a little truth with you here - quite often the brand is so focused on getting more watches out the door, that after sales service would perhaps be better referred to as "after thought" service.

It is a sad reality that not every brand truly embraces the idea that the individual buying and wearing their watch is their ultimate customer.  They further don't really get that this is the person who also has the greatest potential to be an amazing brand ambassador.  But this is not the way that most brands treat them.  You go to a big manufacturer, and the after sales service section is often the equivalent of a broom closet.  No wonder it takes months, sometimes stretching to years.  Your customer deserves better than to wait 3 - 6 months (or often longer) for service issue to get resolved.  

It's all well and good to pump money into pr, buy more advertising space, give more watches to celebrities.  But ultimately, shouldn't you be making the people who have service issues a  bigger, more important priority?  We all want to sell more watches, make more money - and there is nothing wrong with that.  But don't make the person who has a watch in need of service feel like a pariah because you are too parsimonious to take care of them.  You have the customer, don't lose them because you are on the prowl for the next one.  Doesn't work when you're dating, doesn't work when you're selling watches.

Embrace your customer - service issues and all.  Love them and they'll love you back!  


  1. This is a fact. Customers suffer in
    After Sales issues .it is high time the Swiss watch industry consider setting standards for after sales as there is for watches and an obudsman to monitor compliance.

  2. I read your posting with great interest. I believe that most watch companies do value the support teams. Some more than others. Does that mean support teams are properly staffed to provide service or respond to emails in an acceptable time frame? Do they provide the electronic support demanded by consumers in todays world? Well some yes, some no.

    I believe in many instances, the poor perception of After Sales Service lies with end user utilizing a third party (agent, retailer, watchmaker) to process their repair needs rather than dealing with the Authorized Service Teams directly. This is not to blame the end user. Reality is it is easier to have a third party such as a local Jeweler process the repair. That third party though plays a big part in the perception of After Sales Service.

    The third party typically blames long turn around time and pricing on the watch brand. They do not tell the watch owner about their internal processing times, the fact that they only have one watchmaker in house, they are using a third party repair shop, transit times or even that it took them a couple of weeks to let the watch owner know of a repair estimate.

    This is not to say that even the best support team can find areas to improve. I just think there is more than meets the eye with poor perception of After Sales Service.