Hot off slashdot, apparently some Apple employee has started a blog anonymously. Seems like a smart fellow and asking the right questions in terms of relationships and support.
There are really two kinds of support requests (from a company’s perspective): people who have a problem that is your fault and people that don’t. I think many people are frustrated by the latter, when something doesn’t work and they talk to the wrong people about it. So to all of them, too bad, you gotta figure out how to talk to the right people.
The legit kind of support is when we, the company, fucked you, the customer. No one wants to contact support. The only result they want out of support is that the problem be gone. My guess is that 99% of the “legit” support cases fall in this category.
If you have AppleCare, Apple is pretty damn good at this, from my experience. Prove it’s broken (and that you didn’t drop it) and they will fix it. They get this only because of their retail presence at the Apple Store. Calling Apple is as bad as calling anyone.
I think Apple is really on to something with the Apple Store on the support side. It probably pays the bills on the sales side, but more likely it saves them a lot of money in support. It does this by quickly resolving 98% of the cases. Then they deal with 1% at the store in back and the other 1% gets shipped off to hardcore tech dorks.
Support matters. It matters hugely. It’s what bean counters call a Cost of Sale. You wouldn’t have (or won’t have) the sale if you don’t do the support. Apple (and all companies) should engineer their support processes as well as they engineer their computers. Those that do will run and those that don’t will limp.