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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 12:29 

Joined: 05 Sep 2014, 13:52
Posts: 108
So, I'm interested in the Klamath line of boats (the California mfg.). They took over the Westcoaster line and, based on some issues with my 1982 Bayrunner, by Westcoaster, I had some questions about current construction techniques.

Went to their web site and got the phone number. Gave it a call (long distance). The lady who answered could not respond to technical questions so she took my number and said the manager would give me a call. Ten days and no response.

Back to the web site and got the email address. Wrote out my questions (only 3) and emailed to the company last Thursday. As of today (Saturday) no response.

I'll give it some more time before I give up on them. But, my current thinking is, "way to rack up a sale, guys."


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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 13:47 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Posts: 4306
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN
It is amazing how, it seems, that every department is now a "profit center". Be it sales, service or whatever.

No one wants to answer a "customer Service " call or inquiry. Guess they can't make a sale ...by just providing an answer to a question that a customer needs resolved.

I'd print out this thread and send it directly to the President or CEO. They can be in the dark since their "yes" men/women never tell them how bad the company looks to the public.

In the last 50 years or so, I've communicated with the top guy maybe a dozen times. In all cases but one, my issues were resolved by someone in the President's office. Even had the President of Walgreens call me personally one time. Oh, the one company that didn't at least address my issues....went bankrupt about a year later.

richg99



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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 19:04 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2014, 19:52
Posts: 3191
Location: Central FLORIDA - The Sunshine State -
Edit: (to correct thread drift) - - - -
yes, you do have legitimate questions.
maybe the Quality Assurance guy is out walking the factory floor
to reassure himself of their procedures prior to responding to you ??

hope you can get your answers this week.


Last edited by Johnny on 15 Aug 2016, 08:38, edited 1 time in total.


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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 19:23 

Joined: 05 Aug 2011, 23:42
Posts: 240
Minuteman's right in his assessment. They've had more than enough time to respond to a query. Rich is right, Minuteman needs to print or copy this thread, and email it directly to the CEO of the company.

On the other hand, Johnny's predicement is a bit different. If the guy is a one-crew show, and his crew doesn't know about the job that's waiting, it's possible that the guy is in the hospital for some reason. (Tree work is a bit hazardous, after all.) Were I in Johnny's shoes, I'd at least give the guy a call to see what's up. If you get no satisfactory response, than shop elsewhere, but that's just my opinion.

Roger


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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 20:16 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Posts: 4306
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN
My biggest concern about Johnny's situation is....you've verbally contracted with party A...you blow him off ( for good reason) without telling him so....

He shows up, takes the trees down...You've got company B showing up an hour later...

MESS.. Fire him FIRST. Then get company B...

richg99



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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 22:01 

Joined: 05 Oct 2014, 13:19
Posts: 183
Had that happen with new siding 20 years ago. Make sure the 1st knows he is out before contracting with the second.



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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 23:00 
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Joined: 29 Aug 2012, 21:34
Posts: 392
Location: Hobe Sound, FL
I contacted East Cape Skiffs several months ago. They make VERY expensive technical polling skiffs. Contacted them via email for pricing, the emailed back asking for my phone number, then never called me. Unbelievable.



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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2016, 23:41 

Joined: 24 Dec 2011, 22:06
Posts: 893
Location: 72032
Where has customer service gone?

Try being on the other side of the counter!

25+ years ago when I started into the business, we had challenges. We had no internet. No cellphones. Still had carburetors on cars if that tells you anything, and EFI was not heard of on outboard motors. The challenges we faced at that time were in a very basic sense the same challenges that we have now. What has changed? People have changed.

The work that I bust my butt to do is (1) never good enough, (2) never fast enough and (3) always too expensive. In other words, it doesn't matter whether I meet, exceed, or fall below customer expectations. In all 3 cases I'm always the bad guy, and EVERY tech I know will say the same thing. So Every morning when I roll out of bed, I pray to God that I'll have the mental and physical strength to get through the challenges of a day at work, especially in this heat and humidity (today's heat index was a cool 101, last Wednesday was 123 and 124 on Tuesday). I try to do my best, every single day. But many have failed to understand that I'm not perfect, and neither is anyone else-except themselves. It seems like the person who has the problem has the entire world revolving around them, and them only. Some of those challenges are due to the business being small and because of being small, inefficient. But what do you do? Hire more help? Good help is not cheap. Cheap help is not good, ever. Figure $50,000 for a years' salary for decent help in these parts. And he better be able to make the business's investment back to be worth while. That in itself is a huge challenge.

So what motivation is there to go to work every day when you know you're always the bad guy? 4 more years until retirement? No. Bills to pay? No. I can do something else to pay the bills. What takes me to work every day is knowing that there are not many people left on this planet that have an ability to fix stuff correctly, knowing that there are people who have needs and they can't meet their own needs, knowing that there ain't many left that aren't all ink'd up looking for something to change parts on without thinking about what the real problem is, for enough paycheck to buy their "fix" with. Knowing that most young people could care less about getting their hands dirty. So I've stuck with it this long for those reasons. Now I've got a coworker who is extremely willing to learn and I'm sitting in the office chair thinking to myself, should I give up the knowledge that I've busted my butt for? Or should I let him learn the same way I did (the hard way) without discouraging him?

Now I'll tell you the real story of a tech. I deal with a couple thousand customers a year, roughly. Out of those, I might get a half dozen genuine THANK YOU's. The rest, automated response. The rest of the time it's "why'd you charge so much", "ain't this under warranty", "your work sucks", "all you want is my money", that kind of thing. It gets old, and honestly it's no wonder the industry as a whole is suffering a little. We all want that instant gratification and the instant dollar, and neither one happens "instantly" in this business.


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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2016, 00:17 

Joined: 05 Oct 2014, 13:19
Posts: 183
I learned years ago to stick with plumbing-heating-ac. Many years ago, like 20 or so I decided to advertise with a free listing a mobile repair service for mowers and such. I'll come to you. I can spend a couple of hours on a mower/tractor getting it in shape after abuse and charge 150.00 and get barked at. I can spend an hour delimeing and repairing a potty, charge 175.00 and I'll get a hug and a tip.

As far as help goes..to find one who can fix a no heat, then to diagnose and repair or replace a submersible well pump, then go to another call to replace section of 4" cast, another to snake a drain. Maybe an oven or dryer ignitor repair or a water heater repair call. Potty reset with floor repair...it ain't going to happen without serious oversee..

I feel that the recreation repair business is one of the hardest there is.



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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2016, 21:39 

Joined: 05 Sep 2014, 13:52
Posts: 108
Never been on the other side of the counter, but, I can understand the frustrations of trying to do a quality job for un-appreciative customers. Nevertheless, it seems like a good business practice for a business, that maintains a web page that says "Contact Us," to actually respond to people who do contact them - particularly if the contact is with a long distance phone call.

I could understand, if orders were flying in and boats were flying out the door, that it might take a little time. However, I doubt that is the situation this time of the year.


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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2016, 00:28 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
Posts: 1115
Location: Clayton California
Minuteman, I experienced the same problem with the folks at Klamath earlier this year and all I was looking for was an updated list of dealers because the one on their website is out-of-date. Even sadder, I was talking to a local dealer who said they couldn't get a return call from Klamath. I'm not sure what is going on with them. I hope this is the result of an individual and that the company is not in trouble. I did end up buying a 15' Klamath Advantage SC. I actually stumbled onto mine at a dealer that didn't even carry Klamath's line.

BTW, their plant is in a town about 30 minutes from where I live. I wish I could offer to go knock on the door with your questions but suspect that I probably wouldn't be welcome.

Not sure of your questions. If it is any help, I think all of their hulls are welded now, at least mine is. Your best bet is probably to contact a dealer that carries Klamath boats.



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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2016, 01:20 

Joined: 05 Sep 2014, 13:52
Posts: 108
LDUBS wrote:
Not sure of your questions. If it is any help, I think all of their hulls are welded now, at least mine is. Your best bet is probably to contact a dealer that carries Klamath boats.


At the risk of causing thread drift, I thought my questions were pretty straight forward. They were based on what I have found to be deficiencies in my 1982 Bayrunner, by Westcoaster (which Klamath took over).

1. Do they now use all stainless steel fasteners for fastening the gunnels, seats, transom backing, etc. (Westcoaster used cad plated ones in my Bayrunner)?

2. Do they now completely seal any plywood backing the transom to prevent resin leaching and causing pinholes in the aluminum skin (Westcoaster did not)?

3. Do they now remove mill scale from their aluminum plate before assembly (near as I can tell, Westcoaster did not)?

Could have responded to my email by simply indicating "yes" or "no" after each question.

I believe they are in Fairfield now - where I used to live. Maybe if I get the urge to visit my old stomping grounds I'll drop by their factory :)


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 Post subject: How to Win Customers
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2016, 15:40 
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 22:25
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Location: Clayton California
minuteman62-64 wrote:
LDUBS wrote:
Not sure of your questions. If it is any help, I think all of their hulls are welded now, at least mine is. Your best bet is probably to contact a dealer that carries Klamath boats.


At the risk of causing thread drift, I thought my questions were pretty straight forward. They were based on what I have found to be deficiencies in my 1982 Bayrunner, by Westcoaster (which Klamath took over).

1. Do they now use all stainless steel fasteners for fastening the gunnels, seats, transom backing, etc. (Westcoaster used cad plated ones in my Bayrunner)?

2. Do they now completely seal any plywood backing the transom to prevent resin leaching and causing pinholes in the aluminum skin (Westcoaster did not)?

3. Do they now remove mill scale from their aluminum plate before assembly (near as I can tell, Westcoaster did not)?

Could have responded to my email by simply indicating "yes" or "no" after each question.

I believe they are in Fairfield now - where I used to live. Maybe if I get the urge to visit my old stomping grounds I'll drop by their factory :)



Yep, they are in Fairfield. I went to school just down the road in Davis and now live in Clayton. For whatever it is worth, on my Klamath the gunnels are riveted to the hull and the various fasteners are stainless. Can't help with #2 & 3 -- transom is skinned over inside & out and #3 is way beyond my skill level.



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