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Acer drives improvements in local customer support

E-Service initiative will give Acer's Authorised Service Providers new weapons in the fight to improve customer support.

Acer Middle East has injected a competitive edge to its service model as part of a drive to improve customer support for end users.

A sophisticated Web-based service solution called Acer Care e-Service, will completely automate business communication between Authorised Service Providers and Acer. ASPs will be able to log in and check inventory levels of spare parts; track shipments from manufacture through to their shops; and check the status of their accounts with Acer.

The system will allow Acer to track the service provided by their ASPs. And if ASPs get the job done well, Acer is prepared to pay. If ASPs meet certain quality and response time criteria for a support incident covered by warranty, they can earn up to three times the amount of reimbursement they usually received from Acer, explained Suhas Bartar, director of Acer Middle East's customer services division.

Acer reimburses ASPs because they have to provide free support for products under warranty. This has already proved a profitable business for ASPs, and now they can treble the amount of money they can make for each incident.

Ralph Tang believes Acer's 60 ASPs will compete fiercely to grab market share in the service sector. This will drive up quality of service from the best ASPs and leave those that deliver a poor service floudering, he predicts.

"E-Service means customers having the freedom to choose which ASP they use," he added.

Once ASPs have established a reputation for quality service, Acer believes they will be able to start charging for support packs. In the US today, for example, a one year-only warranty is standard on Acer machines. If customers want to extend that support to two or three years, they have to buy additional blocks of support.

Acer Middle East has not given any time frames for reducing the duration of its free warranty support in this region.

At the E-Service launch, Acer also introduced a new managing director for the Middle East. Eric Tien, a former VP in Europe and MD for Acer Germany, will take the seat vacated by Ralph Tang, who has been promoted to head Acer's Peripherals business for the Americas.