No excuse for lousy customer support

Susanne Aldridge III over at In-House Translators – A Dying Breed has a post about why we shouldn’t pick on Trados for its lousy customer service.

From what I could gather, the reasons are:

  1. Service/support personnel are underpaid
  2. Lots of big companies have lousy customer support.

I don’t think that either excuse flies. Firstly, if a company charges you (a lot!) for support, then there’s no excuse for having an underpaid and under-trained support staff. It just makes me feel like a sucker, because the vendor is pocketing my support fee as a revenue stream rather than a way to improve customer satisfaction.

And yes, lots of big companies have poor customer service. This happens when companies look at customer service as an expense to be minimized, rather than an opportunity to improve their product or service.

If you’re a freelance translator or business owner, I’m sure you don’t treat your customers the way Susanne describes her customer-service stories. So don’t stand for it when you buy products and services either.

I have very little patience for poor customer support. In today’s global market, I’m no longer stuck in thrall to a single vendor: I can and do shop around. If a particular vendor doesn’t give me proper support, then I’m sure that there’s another one more than happy to take my money.