The Daily Ping

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August 21st, 2003

Good Customer Service

Since I spend a lot of time complaining about customer service, I thought I’d take today to mention three companies who did simple things to impress me, their customer, and to ensure an ongoing relationship.

First is DigiTraxx, a company that sells pro audio cards, MIDI devices, and software like Sound Forge. I ordered a sound card from them and an expensive piece of software. Within five minutes of placing the order, I realized I didn’t really want the software (it was a rare impulse buy I quickly felt “wrong” about), so I e-mailed customer service and asked if they could remove the product from the order before it shipped. I figured there might be a small fee for doing so. Within a couple hours, I received a response from the owner (sole employee?) that said it was no problem and he’d take care of it, no fee. It’s a simple thing he did, but it assured me there was a real person behind the order and that he was willing to adapt to a customer’s needs. It sucks that this simple kind of service has become so rare.

Second is Sport & Health Clubs, the gym that my wife and I belong to. Last month I lost my card and had to get a new one issued with a new number (side note: Tuesday I found my card in my house, it had slipped under a box). The major pain of getting a new credit card number is updating information with companies by whom you’re automatically billed. I was assured by the Citibank representative that my old number would continue to accept charges for another month or so, but by the next day existing charges were already being rejected. One of them was my monthly club dues. Unfortuantely, since Sport & Health is charged $15 by their credit card processor for rejected cards, they pass the fee along to the customer. Yesterday I called their sales office to see if they could send me a receipt for the $15 fee so that I could have Citibank reimburse me. Without my even asking, the service rep told me he’d waive the fee since the credit card company had told me what they did (“They always say that,” he said). Again, it’s a simple thing, waiving a $15 charge, but it was a customer-centric move that made my afternoon.

Lastly is Sound Professionals in New Jersey, purveyors of fine recording equipment. Over the span of a year, I e-mailed sporadically with customer service, asking them questions about certain microphones, mic preamps, and all that fun stuff. They were always prompt with their response, helpful with their answers, and even though they’re closed on weekends, they offered to make a special appointment with me one weekend when I was planning on being in NJ. For me, if you’re polite and provide the information I’ll need, I’ll spend more at your business than elsewhere that’s cheaper but less responsive.

Hats off to these three companies for making me happy. With an annoying person like me, that’s a hard thing to do.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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