It is no Fool’s Joke. I couldn’t help but wonder to myself as I engaged in an ever diminishing spiral of infinitely decaying customer (lack of) service with Samsung recently how it is that mega corporations these days treat their so called customers. And it got me to thinking about the good old days in hi-fi when we used to have actual dealers that would actually deliver actual service to actual customers in the pursuit of their hobby and business mutual benefits.
It seemed so much simpler then – and that is precisely because it WAS so much simpler back then. If you wanted to listen to something you would go and *shock horror* go and listen to it. If you liked it you bought it and quite often your dealer that you bought it from would even offer you an installation service, if not a swap out if you were trading in some kit of your own. I am eternally grateful that a degree of this takes place still, today in this hobby that is hi-fi.
It would seem that locally the notion of box dropping has become somewhat exposed in the rarefied atmosphere of emotional musical purchases that our personal equipment actually is. Whilst an A/V receiver may be an A/V receiver maybe just an AV receiver it seems to me that the tide is turning back to a realisation that hi-fi purchases are often not solely about price vs statistics, and that a personal touch, and dare I say it, levels of service that a Samsung of this world is simply incapable of delivering. That’s part of the magic. It’s part of the journey that is hi-fi, a stop start but never ending cycle of continuous improvement in our lived listening experiences. There is something wonderful about it and whilst sales numbers and figures do rule the world, when it comes to hi-fi it is satisfying to know that still today we, as the consumers of tech, can expect and demand a level of service behind the brands that we buy or else we can exercise our spend in many, many other corners of the market.
And it would also seem that the lessons are that size doesn’t matter as much as a real, committed focus on customers does. The wheel may turn slowly but turn it does and change is the nett result.
The customer is not dead. Long live the customer!