Sunday, 29 August 2010

Customer Service As It Should Be

I know I've recently been raving about Amazon recently as if I were paid for the service (I'm not). But the simple fact is that they simply deserve it, and on more than one front.

Take today. It's Sunday. I'm idling while waiting for the Formula 1 race to start. I'm reading The Economist (as one does while waiting for one of the more boring, yet extremely exciting, spectator sport events). I see a link to a book I'd like to read (yes, I know - it's sad). Hop over to Amazon, have a look if it's available for Kindle. Sadly, it's not (really, Steven!). I buy a hard copy one (it would look good on a coffee table - if I were allowed to keep it there). I also click on the link to register my complaint about non-availability of an electronic edition.

While I'm at it, I also check (again) if a Linux version of Amazon Kindle Reader for PC is available. Equally sadly, it isn't. So I decide to register my interest in this as well with Amazon Customer Support. At 12:31:14 (according to Amazon) my message goes out. I go back to reading Economist, waiting for Formula 1, nibbling on Danish pork scratchings. I forget about my inquiry. It's Sunday, after all.

At 13:37 (seconds unregistered by Google Mail) I receive what I think is an automated response from Amazon to acknowledge they received my query and will look into it in due course. I almost do not open it. I decide I should, even if only to see when I might expect a response (if ever).

To my amazement, what I find is a response. Already. And not just a boiler-plate style response, the likes of which I've seen way too many. A person has actually read what I have written and responded to exactly what was asked about. In a very non-boiler-plate, friendly, and ultimately helpful manner. Promising my feedback will find its way to the right department. By quoting the department's actual name, which makes sense, and gives me a sense of reassurance that this will actually happen, and that maybe that department is also manned by people who actually read (and hopefully care about) what their customers want and need.

With(out) Amazon's permission (it is after all a message that now belongs to me) here is what I received:

Hello Vladimir,

Thank you for sending us these comments in regards to the Kindle for PC App.

Further to your email, I'm sorry but I'm unable to confirm at this time if a Kindle App for Linux will be available from the Amazon.co.uk.

However, please note that strong customer feedback like this helps us continue to improve the service we provide, and we are glad you took time to write to us. I have sent your comments onto the Kindle business team.

Please feel free to forward further comments and suggestions about our website to us. Each suggestion will be read and taken into consideration.

Thanks for your interest in Amazon Kindle.

Well done Amazon!

And keep up the good work. Which means: get someone to port Kindle Reader for PC to Linux...