Service study: TV manufacturers have service deficits
Autor: Siobhan Hayes
06/03/2009, 10:59 CET
The economic crisis has the world firmly in its grip – but the Germans do not want to do without chic televisions in their living rooms. LCD television turnover rose 30 percent for the first quarter of 2009 in contrast to the trend, according to recent figures from the gfu (Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und Kommunikationselektronik or Society for Entertainment and Communication Electronics). But what manufacturer can you depend on if you need to clarify concrete questions on the products or if technical problems arise?
The Deutsche Institut für Service-Qualität (German Institute for Service Quality) has carried out extensive service tests for consultation quality on 14 leading TV manufacturers. In the course of 420 surveys, the friendliness and competence demonstrated on the telephone and via E-mail were examined in detail. In addition, the Internet sites of the television manufacturers were also subjected to intense analysis.
Panasonic emerged as the overall winner in the study. The company convinced with the best Internet presence and a good E-mail response. Second place went to Samsung, where the best telephone service was offered. Toshiba came third with an outstanding E-Mail service.
On average, the service provided by TV manufacturers was only "satisfactory"; only the three top scorers provided a “good” performance. Two manufacturers only achieved a rating of “sufficient” and another two could not be rated, since there was no telephone support at all.
There were major deficits in the telephone conversations. Just half of the answers on the telephone were helpful to non-experts without difficulty. Both the competence and the communication quality of the companies analysed by the testers was rated a mere "sufficient".
"Unfortunately, TV- manufacturers are not managing to convince with their competence or make their products understandable to anyone through explanation", comments Markus Hamer, Manager of the Institute. Just half of the E-mail queries were answered completely. Three out of four answers contained orthographic or grammatical errors. 70 percent of answers were not formulated individually and in around half of the responses, the friendliness was in need of improvement.
The Internet presence of the companies was rated as "satisfactory" on average and only one website was "good". Around a quarter of testers complained that the Internet sites could not be used intuitively. Every third test visitor felt that the information was poorly structured.