Manufacturers Failing at Customer Service

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 25, 2012

Historically, manufacturers reaped the benefits of abused customers powerless to fight back. Now, with the rise of social media, the tides are turning yet many manufacturers refuse to help customers that voice their complaints publicly. In this note, we examine the factors involved and the growing impact this has on marketing and competitive positioning.

Regulars readers of the IPVM discussion group are aware of new field problems posted every week. Today, I was pleasantly surprised that within 30 minutes of an integrator sharing a problem with a Samsung dome, not only did Samsung respond with detailed technical feedback, they offered and had a call with the integrator.

Alas, often manufacturers leave their customers out to dry and see this as part of a sophisticated 'strategy'.

Don't Reward Bad Customer Behavior

Manufacturers are concerned that answering complaining online will reward bad customer behavior. Instead, customers should toe the line and wait their turn on official support channels.

However, this is silly as typically customers turn to IPVM (or other social media channels) when they have exhausted traditional means. Indeed, if they could just call the manufacturer and get it resolved on a phone call, they would obviously be much better off than submitting a post and hoping that others can help them over the course of days or weeks.

Social media posts are generally a sign of a problem in the manufacturer's traditional support process that prudent manufacturers would want to address and improve upon.

Don't Reward IPVM

The other more specific fear is that some manufacturers do not want to 'reward' IPVM, thinking that helping users who share problems on IPVM will benefit us. This is even sillier.

IPVM 'wins' whether or not manufacturers respond:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

  • If a manufacturer does not respond and we do, we 'win' because their customer and our member feels that we care more about them than the manufacturer.
  • If a manufacturer does respond, we may 'win' but they 'win' too.

Free Marketing for Manufacturers

Ultimately, what is most insane about this approach is that these same manufacturers spend tens of thousands of dollars on trade ads that have questionable readership and even worse impact.

By contrast, a post by an integrator or end user on IPVM saying "I am having problems with Manufacturer X and Manufacturer X won't help me" has far greater (negative) effect than ads that manufacturers pay big money for.

The bottom line is that a manufacturer who responds to a customer complaint is getting themselves free marketing that is easily worth thousands of dollars. By not jumping at the opportunity to respond, manufacturers not only hurt their customer, they damage the brand they spend so much pumping up.

Manufacturers reading this, wouldn't you want to be Samsung in this article - the company that rushed to support their customer within minutes of hearing about a problem posted online?

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Hikvision Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 18, 2019
Hikvision favorability results declined significantly in IPVM's 2019 study of 200+ integrators. While in 2017 Hikvision's favorability was...
Network Optix Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 11, 2019
Network Optix is arguably the last new VMS. Founded in 2010, more than a decade after most client/server VMS offerings, the company has become a...
BCDVideo Expansion And Switch From HP To Dell Examined on Mar 11, 2019
BCDVideo says they have more than tripled revenue in the past 5 years and are continuing to grow, powered most recently by switching their lead...
Genetec Declares "Lead With Synergis" Access Control on Mar 04, 2019
Genetec started with and is best known for its video management software. However, the company is now imploring its partners to lead with Synergis,...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Ubiquiti Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 18, 2019
Ubiquiti has quietly grown into a $1+ billion annual revenue company, with offerings across wireless, wireline network and video surveillance (see...
ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
Solink Raises $12 Million - Company Profile on Feb 12, 2019
Most industry professionals have never heard of Solink, a company whose tagline is: It's time to revolutionize the way business uses...
Milestone Drops Hikvision From Elite Partners on Feb 11, 2019
Milestone has quietly dropped Hikvision from their 'Elite Partners', less than 3 years after adding the Chinese government-owned...
ADT And SimpliSafe Super Bowl LIII Ads Criticized on Feb 04, 2019
Super Bowl ads are incredibly expensive, running $5+ million this year, but two of the security industry's most controversial companies ran ads...

Most Recent Industry Reports

UTC Interlogix Series 6 Tested on Mar 25, 2019
UTC Interlogix has long been deceptively OEMing Hikvision as our 2017 results show. Now, Interlogix is back with their newest IP camera series,...
Outdoor Camera Installation Guide on Mar 25, 2019
Outdoor camera installation can be fraught with problems. Creating a sturdy and weather tight mount is key for camera performance and longevity,...
Favorite Video Storage / Server Manufacturers 2019 on Mar 25, 2019
189 integrators answered this question: "What is your favorite storage device / server manufacturer for recording video? Why?" In general...
IBM / Genetec Surveillance System Investigated Over Philippines Human Rights Abuses on Mar 22, 2019
A lengthy investigation into an IBM video surveillance project in the Philippines, raising concerns IBM helped local police conduct a bloody...
Eagle Eye Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 21, 2019
Eagle Eye has been the biggest spender in the cloud VMS market including (via their owner) acquiring Brivo for $50 million and CameraManager from...
Large Hospital Security End User Interview on Mar 21, 2019
This large single-state healthcare system consists of many hospitals, and hundreds of health parks, private practices, urgent care facilities, and...
Silicon Valley Cybersecurity Insurance Startup Coalition Profile on Mar 20, 2019
Many industry people believe cybersecurity insurance is not worth it, as the voting and debate in our Cybersecurity Insurance For Security...
Covert IP Camera Shootout - Axis, Hanwha, Hikvision, March, Vivotek on Mar 20, 2019
Covert cameras were one of the last holdout areas for analog cameras. However, in the past few years, IP / HD covert cameras have become...
Top Metrics For Ensuring Integrator Profitability - Statistics on Mar 20, 2019
How do integrators ensure the profitability of their projects? As part of our profitability study, 100+ integrators answered the following...
Avigilon Launches 'Renewed Products Program' on Mar 19, 2019
There are lots of 'pre-owned' cars but pre-owned IP cameras? While such programs are common in other industries, in video surveillance, they are...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact