Info-tech

Mobile phones, PC companies ready with virtual service centres to assist customers

S Ronendra Singh, Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 27, 2020 Published on March 27, 2020

Companies go the extra mile to help customers with DIYs, ‘How-to-guides’, on-call assistance with damaged products

 

As consumers in India grapple with the complete lockdown and are working from home, electronics products and mobile phone makers are unable to serve customers at service centres. To handle this, the consumer product companies are setting up virtual centres and leveraging on social media or livechat features on their websites.

Although most of the companies have announced extended warranty on devices and replacement of damaged products when required, offering repairs for appliances and devices is a challenge, according to smartphone and consumer durable players.

For instance, smartphone maker Xiaomi said that the company is providing email, chat and social media support to help customers facing problems with their devices. However, since there is a national lockdown, the company’s customer care service on calls are not working.

Globally, companies are going the extra mile to help consumers who are working from home, through their websites.

Enrique Lores, President and Chief Executive Officer, HP Inc, has written “Releasing an HP response to Covid-19 Guide for Customers and Partners with details on our business continuity plans, how-to guides and other useful information pertaining to the most common requests we are receiving, including cleaning your PC or printer, best practices when working from home, and tips for hosting virtual meetings”.

Global support

He wrote that the company was increasing its customer support through its global support website for customers and partners needing assistance during this time. “We are also updating our 24/7 Virtual Agent regularly with the latest information,” he added. The company is following the same in India too.

All consumer durable companies have also suspended operations of their plants and other services, but are helping consumers with after-sales service issues virtually and offering do-it-yourself videos or voice assistance to solve simples issues with regards to appliances.

“From operating our call centres with the active support of our service engineers to extending the warranty on Haier products across all categories, we want to ensure that our customers are provided with the best service experience at all times. We are taking all necessary measures to combat the influence of the present situation on the ground and want to ensure relentless support to our customers,” Eric Braganza, President, Haier Appliances India, told BusinessLine.

Ravi Bhat, Service Head, Godrej Appliances, said that the company has initiated ‘Remote Assist’ wherein it is providing DIY videos or Voice Assistance in order to solve at least some of the simpler service requests from the customers.

“They can continue to reach us through our website, over consumer care email and our Mobile App in case they have any query or need any assistance,” he said.

Panasonic India said that its call centre is open and if a customer is registered, they can call and register their complaints, which goes to the branch offices and are then taken up to be resolved virtually.

“We are also calling all registered customers and sharing the mobile numbers of our local staff for support, if required. Since summers are here and ACs will require servicing soon, we have developed DIY videos to help consumers clean their machines on their own. We are also active on social media to help the consumers in whatever manner we can in the current circumstances,” a Panasonic India spokesperson said.

In the automotive sector, companies have deployed emergency roadside assistance for the customers in case of emergency and minor repairs through their emergency dial-in numbers.

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Published on March 27, 2020
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