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Locally here in southern Finland, the gut feeling tells that many private clients (citizens) are in need of customized IT services. It means that still many are left in a gap between the hardware vendors, resellers, and consultants. In English: When your PC is glogged up (software settings set up wrong, or hardware failing) the first point of contact might not be able to give care.

Finland has a total population of about 5,200,000 people as of 2010. There are millions of PCs (laptops and desktops) in the country. The southern segment is about 1/5 of the whole population.

Consumer electronics are selling very hotly. Usually PCs last for about 2-7 years, after which they are replaced. The trend is a little bit worrying sometimes. Due to increasing sophistication of hardware (smaller components, which are harder to replace – the same kind of development that happens with cars) there seems to be a mentality of use and replace; electronics engineers with handcraft skills and tools good enough to do repair are rare.

The clockwork engineering -tradition has been turning into modular bulk engineering, where whole motherboards or other large entities are changed at one time, even without a lot of discretion and analysis of the situation. Why? Because both on private and business sector, time is money. People don’t want to wait. I wouldn’t want to wait either for my PC to arrive from the maintenance.

I personally encountered a facade of a big company. It was quite frustrating. I had a product which clearly did not work as it should have. It gave me an output worth zero euros. I had to run to the seventh customer care rep to talk my way into nullifying the invoices and returning the product.

The 7th! Had I been left to my own devices and just given up in the first place, it would’ve cost me almost 1000 euros. For nothing.

So; for private clients: be persistent. Talk, explain, and visualize. Do what it takes if you have a faulty product. And for the vendors: in the long run, good customer care is perhaps THE biggest factor that guarantees good sales figures.

yours,
Jukka

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