@The Unexpected Bill
Good customer service indeed sells. I mean, the customer service I got from these guys was so fantastic I felt it was worth an article. The story is even better than the article tells.
You see, when I first called these guys looking for a transmission, they said they had the right one and they put it in the queue to be shipped out. I get a call the next day and they guy says "my boys apparently cut the kickdown cable on this transmission taking it out. What do you want to do?" I didn't know a think about what this meant, so he said he would get details on how this would affect me and call me back. He called his transmission guy, who told me "it would be a $300 job to reattach a new kickdown cable, assuming you can find one." I was heartbroken; the transmission they were selling me was $350 after shipping!
So the guy noodles around for a day and gets back to me. He says “I found a buddy of mine with one of these trannies. I’ll tell you what; we’ll sell it to you at the same price we quoted you on the original.” I was blown away. Gast absolutely flabbered.
Here is some random company on the other side of the continent that not only lets me use the tool I am most comfortable with (instant messenger0 to talk to a live person in real time, but they bent over backwards for me. They didn’t know me from a hole in the ground, had no previous business relationship, no reason to treat me “special” that I can think of. Yet lo and behold: fantastic customer experience.
A couple of days later I was thinking to myself “hey, I should actually get off my duff and crank out an article or two.” I thought back to this company and thought “you know what, screw all the negativity and scandal. I want to talk about someone being awesome.”
So yeah, good customer service on this guy’s part totally got them an article. I logged onto the instant messenger earlier today (after I discovered my editor had published it) and sent him the link. He was quite surprised, apparently it’s been printed and is now on the company bulletin board. ;)
The whole experience contrasts starkly with my day job. At my day job the CTO of the company is banging on one more time that we need to “completely redo the website.” I feel frustrated because I am trying to counter this with “it’s not what the website looks like that matters (it’s perfectly fine, aesthetically speaking,) it’s what is ON the website and what FUNCTIONALITY it provides that matters.” This is countered with “our website is crap, we need to start over.” There is a distinct temptation to cry/scream/howl/sob in frustration.
The reason our customers shop at the store I work at…the reason I like this random car wrecker I found on the internet…it has nothing to do with /presentation/. It’s because when you send an e-mail/text/IM/whatever there is a warm body on the other end that says “hello, how can I help you?” They then proceed to /actually help you/!
As such, I guess the whole article is a bit of cathartic venting. Since my voice is seldom heard around here, I cast my idea into the wild interwibble:
It’s not what your website looks like that matters.
It’s how you use it.