Why Empowered Customer Service Reps Matter
Just had an experience that could have gone awry if not for an empowered customer service rep who took action and turned a negative into something positive by listening to me and having the authority to do the right thing.
For a couple of years I’ve been enjoying Parallels, the virtual machine to run Windows on Mac. Though I didn’t immediately upgrade to 4.0 — since booting into Windows via Boot Camp was meeting my needs at the time — recent client requirements compelled me to leverage my Mac tools and Windows simultaneously making rebooting not a viable option.
Parallels continued emailing finally met my need and it was pretty painless to upgrade rather than move to their competitor VMWare Fusion (and climb a new learning curve to boot) even though I’ve got some buddies who swear by it and tried to convince me to buy it instead.
Over lunch today I went to the Parallels site, purchased and downloaded the upgrade. Installing it I was asked for my previous version key which I cut-n-pasted from an email. OH NO! It turned out that my previous key was the 3.0 upgrade from 2.0 key…and I needed the original 2.0 key!
After spending a half hour digging through my office closet in search of my original box with the key on the CD jacket, I confirmed my nagging suspicion that I’d tossed it out since I’d written the new key down in my archive as well as emailing it to myself (my way of ensuring it’s at my fingertips and safe).
Getting on the phone with customer service licensing, the young woman Amy let me know that I’d need to contact their distribution partner, Nova Development, in order to obtain my original key! Having been through this key dependency problem with Adobe — until they figured out that a successful upgrade requiring a previous key was sufficient anti-piracy measure — I knew I faced nearly an hour of “key chasing” in order to use the product I’d purchased, downloaded and was in the midst of installing.
I asked Amy, “Before we get off the phone, may I rant just a bit?” in my nicest voice, concealing my agitation. Pointing out how Adobe had made a policy change to cease pissing off their customers through this key dependency problem, our conversation eventually got around to her emailing me an original 2.0 key so I could upgrade! Problem solved, customer delighted, and so much so he does a blog post about this atypical-but-very-important service empowerment.
Smart move by Parallels management to not so tightly restrict a licensing rep so s/he can’t make a judgement call.