Sometimes I wonder if brands become so focused on always selling new watches that they forget to provide service for the ones they have sold in the past. Right now, for example, I have two requests for after-sales service with two different brands. The first requires a full service, and it is a complex job because the watch has an emergency transponder built into the case, so I want the brand itself to service it. Its service center is not even a 20-minute drive from my home, and I know many people who have brought in and picked up their watches from there directly. This would be the most convenient option for me, but I wanted to double-check that the center still operates, just in case anything has changed. I found a local email address for all service-related questions on the brand’s website. We are now almost six weeks underway, and even after a friendly reminder, still no response. Perhaps I need to open and pull the emergency beacon of the watch to get their attention?
For another watch in my collection, I need an extra link for the bracelet, as it is a bit too snug to be worn comfortably. This has also proven to be an ‘upstream’ battle because, after initial friendly contact with the point of sale they have in the Netherlands, I only heard the sound of silence. At this point, I would rather hear them admit that they, unfortunately, cannot help me rather than feeling ignored. Coincidence? I find that hard to believe, as I hear too many stories from fellow collectors about the struggle with getting decent after-sales service.
During college, I worked in a high-end clothing store under an old-school manager who was close to retirement. He was very keen on providing after-sales service, as this was an opportunity to improve customer retention by continuing to meet their needs. In my years working there I saw various examples of this. Sometimes we even helped people fix problems they had with clothes that weren’t even from our store. In doing so, we often gained loyal clients who knew to come to us first when they needed a new piece for their closet.
This is also what always surprises me. If a client has a request for after-sales service, you know for a fact that they have already bought your product at least once. Quite likely, they can also do this again, so why ignore the clients’ needs while there is often a dependency as service or bracelet links cannot be obtained elsewhere? Sure, after-sales might not be as profitable as selling new watches, but in the long run, it remains indispensable in gaining a loyal following and keeping your clients smiling.
What are your experiences with after-sales service? Let us know in the comments