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Judge a Company By How it Handles Mistakes


servicecentre of apple at wheelock Had an interesting conversation over dinner with my wife's high school classmate who was in Singapore for a regional meeting.

While in the conversation, it struck me that how a company handles faults, be it battery leakages, exploding devices, faulty gadgets etc determines the brand perception of consumers to it. Of course, if there isn't any fault, it will be the number 1 brand in the world.

Being a PR manager, she had lots of interesting stories to tell about how her company handles them.

President Ma in Taiwan would not do badly if he hired some of these corporate PR people to handle the press, judging by the fiasco and mishandling recently by his previous cabinet, which was forced to resign en masse to take responsibility for its ineptitude.

On the same day, the Nokia handphone I bought less than a week ago failed to function.

I had flashbacks about trips to service centres and was dreading the experience of going to another one yet again. I seem to attract faulty handphones for some strange reason.

However, the trip to the Nokia Service Centre at Wheelock Place in Orchard on 10 September 2009 at around 7.30pm (in case some Nokia manager stumble upon my blog and wants to find out who was the staff serving at the time- I am customer 4002) was a pleasant one.

The lady at the reception was a hive of activity, screening the customers, polite, efficient and very effective. In fact she managed to find out what happened and what was at fault. Thankfully it was just the charger, not the phone.

Next, the lady at the servicing counter was direct, polite and got it replaced no questions asked. All in, it took me less than 30 minutes I would think.

When I went to the Apple servicing counter (it was nearby), I saw customers standing and crowding the counter in the picture above. I thought it quaint that they had a shining cross to represent a service centre. Maybe the Apple customers have to pray and hope for deliverance.

Companies live and die by how they handle the exceptions to normal standards. When QC fails, and the product or service isn't up to standard, service recovery must be high or you'd lose your customer.

It seems that Nokia has outdid Apple in the servicing standards.

Nokia phones or stocks, anyone?

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