Is Google Abandoning its Customers?

Last Updated Feb 16, 2010 4:30 AM EST


Google entered the mobile telephone market with a bang in January by introducing the Nexus One and then just as spectacularly imploded on a rash of customer service complaints.

Since Google launched the Nexus One, its stock has underperformed [the declining] DOW and Nasdaq benchmarks by 10 percent. Consumers and shareholders are trying to make their voice heard. Is Google listening?

They were hip, rocking along on a wave of innovative features. Google might just be the David to Microsoft's Goliath... or so we'd hoped. But in dramatic fashion, Google proved that launching products without providing customer service capabilities makes for a short, choppy ride with a sudden stop. Mind the gap, Google!

Google should take two immediate steps to right the ship:
  1. Provide a service -- Google has failed to recognize that mobile phone service includes an operating system, compatible handset, and comprehensive customer support. Referring Nexus One customers to HTC for handset complaints is like Toyota asking its customers to contact the manufacturer of the flawed brake assembly.
  2. Respond to customers -- Google must actively respond to its customers. Google's misnamed help page provides very little help and states "in most cases you won't receive a personal response". If the customer service itself weren't so underwhelming I'd applaud Google's honesty in setting expectations. As it is, the non-response smacks of a slap in the face for consumers.
Google can navigate its way out of this customer service maelstrom, but it'll have to do better than half-hearted measures and low-value initiatives. It's quite simple -- be prepared for problems with new product launches. Abandoning customers, as Google appears to have done, merely adds insult to injury.


(Photo: Search-engine-land, CC2.0)
  • Andrew McFarland

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