I don't normally bring whinges from my life as a customer onto this blog, but this one is too perfect an opportunity to miss.
Two weeks ago I had a question I wanted to ask Leica; specifically I wanted to know if they could tell me where to hire one of their stratospherically expensive, uniquely desirable, cameras. Simple question, but my Googling was letting me down so I took the easy way out and emailed Leica through the “Contact us” bit of their website.
I'm still waiting for any response. *UPDATED BELOW*
This is, frankly, absurdly poor service. There is no excuse, in this day and age, for not responding to email. What makes it even worse is that Leica is a (very) premium brand. From my perspective as (maybe one day, when I'm very rich or very drunk) a potential customer, what is this telling me about the service I can expect if I experience a problem?
I posted on Twitter about this last Friday. A company competent at reputation management would have been dealing with that post the same day—monitoring the web for mentions of the brand “Leica” is not hard. In fact numerous photography-linked Twitterites have since followed me, which demonstrates that other people are looking for mentions of Leica, even if they aren't.
Anyway, moving on from the rant, what are the lessons? Couldn't be simpler:
- Posting contact details is a promise—you MUST respond in a reasonable time. No excuses.
- Simple reputation management is cheap and easy. You MUST know about it if people are talking about your brand online.
- If you want to be a premium consumer brand, those two things are exponentially more important.
*UPDATE 11 November* : Today, nearly four weeks after my enquiry, Leica responded. They couldn't answer, but it was quite a helpful response. Sadly, it took them 19 working days when it should have taken hours.