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Author Topic: Good customer service/ bad customer service  (Read 5756 times)

(Brian) Frost

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Good customer service/ bad customer service
« on: January 17, 2005, 03:31:57 pm »

The company I own buys a good deal of gear ($50-100k) every year.  The longer I am in this industry (10 years so far) the more I find out about companies I wish to continue to do work with and companies I do not because of their continued support for their products.  

Any companies you would like to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to?

BAD:
I recently sent a CROWN mic (glm200) in for service.  I got a call today with a price of $204 for a replacement mic.  I can buy a new one for $20 LESS from banjo center! Thanks for the trade in.  After speaking with several people, they were sticking to their guns.   Fet broken and capsule a little off, CROWN believes I should throw this mic away.  I think I should buy a different mic and stop buying products from crown!

GOOD:
I will always purchase shure products because they regularly fix products for free or a reasonable flat fee.  $40 for a old broken 58 and $80 to replace a ksm series mic is reasonable and makes me know that my investment is worth the original receipt.  Good people building a good product.

On the higher end, Manley will ship me replacement parts for free when I break a switch or bend a connector.  In response, and because I like the sound of their products, I have spent $10k this year alone on more manley gear.

Just recently, Audix repaired a mic, replaced a connector and put back to spec a small instrument mic.  They called quickly and asked for a credit card when the repair was done.   The bill:  $10.  I couldnt believe it.  I will make sure to buy more audix products both because of quality and their support to the end user.  

_____________________________
Dont professional companies understand that we will buy more stuff from companies that support their products in a reasonable manner?

Frost
Owner, Narnia Productions
Head Engineer, Arlen Music
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Frost

Owner, Narnia Productions

www.NarniaProductions.com

Chicago IL


Good is good but not as good as better

Tom Reid

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005, 03:51:31 pm »

Harmon Int. in general seems to be having a problem with attitude, and who the customer is.

I do side consult and repair work for a mom and pop shop.  After the first of the year, Harmon decided to change the way they do accounts on this guy.  Without getting into private details, it means he's limited to how much product he can get from the entire Harmon line.

Makes the end column guys down the street happy with their huge nationwide buying power.  But it will probably run him out of business.  And that would be a shame.

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Marc Schwartz

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2005, 05:01:46 pm »

I am in total agreement with you about service support being an important factor in my purchase decision making process. The last thing I want is to get lousy and/or overpriced repair service from a manufacturer after I have bought their product. It does more than just make me angry, it creates a lasting bad impression of them. I figure that when I buy a product, I am voting for that manufacturer with my hard earned dollars, and if I am not satisified with it, or the service after the sale, than I am under no obligation to buy anything else from them ever again.
I spent ten years in the consumer electronics service business as a manager and technician, and one of the many lessons I learned there is that manufacturers have a tendency to view repairs as a necessary evil. The typical attittude of many is that whatever money must be spent for product service is an expense at the cost of corporate profits. Many companies in pro audio seem to have a similar attitude. The result is often poor repair quality, or unaffordable and apathetic serivce. I hope some people in manufacturing read this thread and give this topic some serious thought.

-Marc
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2005, 05:07:45 pm »

Tom Reid wrote on Mon, 17 January 2005 12:51

Without getting into private details, it means he's limited to how much product he can get from the entire Harmon line.


It's not uncommon for larger manufacturers to segment the lines and not offer everything from all the lines to the dealers.  Small guys haven't been able to compete in terms of price with the big box MI stores or mail order for several years now.  The buying power is too great.  They have to do other value adds like service, etc.  With GC getting into so called "pro" markets over the last few years that will further lock down product availability to the smaller shops.

Dave
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Adam Kane

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2005, 05:24:49 pm »

I've also had some problems w/ Crown.  Long service times, unreturned phone calls, etc.  We're now using QSC and Crest.

I've had excellent service from Audio Technica.  Had a problem w/ a 3000 series transmitter pack.  They shipped one out here second day air at no charge before I was even able to send them the defective one.

I've also been really happy with Yorkville's service.  The person on the phone is almost always someone that's had hands-on experience in the field and knows exactly how to fix the problem (as few as there have been).

adam
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Tom Reid

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2005, 07:41:42 pm »

[quote title=Dave wrote on Mon, 17 January 2005 16:07
It's not uncommon for larger manufacturers to segment the lines and not offer everything from all the lines to the dealers.  Small guys haven't been able to compete in terms of price with the big box MI stores or mail order for several years now.  The buying power is too great.  They have to do other value adds like service, etc.  With GC getting into so called "pro" markets over the last few years that will further lock down product availability to the smaller shops.

Dave[/quote]

Aww Dave, it's worse then that.  Some ...went to sometimes.

I hope people understand that it's a better value to buy the right piece of gear from a patient old guy, who'll give you a hand with the config, and get you a loaner in any event, rather then the spikey headed kid with braces who clerks you a box off the shelf.

Saving %15 actually might cost you more in the long run.

Another thought is the cottage industry for journeymen when markets saturate the next class of gear to a large cluless mass.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2005, 08:23:24 pm »

Tom Reid wrote on Mon, 17 January 2005 18:41



Aww Dave, it's worse then that.  Some ...went to sometimes.

I hope people understand that it's a better value to buy the right piece of gear from a patient old guy, who'll give you a hand with the config, and get you a loaner in any event, rather then the spikey headed kid with braces who clerks you a box off the shelf.

Saving %15 actually might cost you more in the long run.

Another thought is the cottage industry for journeymen when markets saturate the next class of gear to a large cluless mass.


I agree with you about 1000% and spent years trying to help small dealers survive the onslaught of the big box companies. My personal advice for them was to offer more value (and generate more profit to offset pricing pressures) by expanding into rentals and small install work. This would differentiate them from the GC du' jour, at least for the moment. Most resisted and will go the way of the small corner hardware store, as soon as they reach retirement or get a good offer to sell.

It isn't really their fault. The market has matured and is just going through a life cycle seen before in numerous other industries. The bottom line the number of customers who think like our Tom Reid here are in the distinct minority. When the vast majority of customers are shopping for price on the WWW and often buying from the dealer they find leaning further out the window that day, old line traditional dealers are doomed.

I'd love to be wrong, but as usual I doubt it. Very Happy  

JR
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Langston Holland

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2005, 08:23:38 pm »

In my limited experience...

Lifetime worst service and support award goes to: Behringer

Runners-up best service and support go to: Allen & Heath, Audio Technica, Crest, EAW, QSC, and Shure.

Lifetime best service and support in the history of audio: Ashly
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Dave Stevens

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2005, 08:33:41 pm »

I was a partner in a pro audio retail venture that was handed it's ass by the big boxes and mail order.  We had great service, excellent staff, just couldn't do the volume or compete strictly on price in many lines.  The market, particularly at the lower end is primarily driven by price.  I agree with the service aspect, but for a hundred dollar mic that Banjo Depot buys in quantities of tens of thousands, the little guy can't compete.

This isn't something specfic to pro audio, it's how retail is in the US for the most part these days.   The era of mom and pop mass market shops for the most part is coming to an end.  Sad perhaps, but reality none the less.  In the MI biz in Seattle the once dominant retailer is reduced to a fraction of what it once was.  It was replaced by the chain(s) (which ironically consolidated) and smaller specialty stores that are independent and provide service and specialization that the big box can't.  For example there are a couple of widely respected and popular acoustic instrument stores, a bass only store and a drum only store that offer value from adding specialized service.  It's tougher to do that in pro audio considering for many, if not most of the bulk of the sales are to musos and other small companies or churches.  These folks are buying the kind of mass market pro and semi pro product available these days.  To make it work you have to expand outside your geographic territory to achieve any scale.  For many it's tough to make a living at retail these days.

Dave
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Matt Lillie

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Re: Good customer service/ bad customer service
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2005, 09:08:53 pm »

I have to step up and say good things about one Harman company. DBX has always done the right thing. I get advance replacements, helpful phone calls, whatever is needed. A general "warm fuzzy".

Another thumbs up goes to QSC. Today I received, via courier service and SAME DAY Fed Ex, a PLX that accidentally went to a shop with a similiar name. I didn't even bitch about what could have been a delay. Hats off to Patricia and the gang.

Audio Technica is great, as are the guys in the Peavey shop, Max and Gene.
 
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