I have seen a good number of posts pop up talking about different vendors/people/companies, and how they handle customer service and other aspects of their businesses. Most of these fall into arguing and are not super productive.
I thought it might be helpful for us as a community to lay out what we expect when we interact with these companies, and then have the companies in question respond with their thoughts on each issue.
I don’t want this to delve into arguments so lets try and stay away from specific instances, and more focus on recurring issues or feedback.
I think I can tell you what people want, its simple…
lower prices, faster delivery, free delivery, longer warranties, no import duties, lower prices, better service, never out of stock of anything, products that never fail, premium service, lower prices, immediate answers to all questions, free stuff, unlimited product support & lower prices.
He’s probably right though :D. Ofc the consumer wants everything to be perfect, because we are spoiled brats who live in a world where everything happens just by clicking a few buttons on the internet. However these kind of expectations from a relatively small esk8 company are ridiculous IMO.
Honesty and fair communication. Personally I think people want to be treated like adults and they can usually handle both the good and bad. What scares most people is uncertainty - they’d rather take the bad outcome if it’s a sure thing than the uncertain one.
I buy products with no warranties, I also buy products that have 20% restocking fees. I’m fine with these policies as long as the vendor is upfront about them. I get upset if this isn’t told to me before or at the time of purchase. It’s very simple expectation management. Sure the vendor is gaining a few bucks but losing a repeat customer as well as subjecting themselves to bad PR.
@Karmannghiagirl I’d like to see vendors reduce their dependency on pre-sales and pre-orders. I realize there are challenges keeping stock when you’re a small vendor; but I see so many complaints and frustrations from customers (especially new customers that aren’t familiar with our DIY business practices) when they pay for a pre-order item and then the item takes 1 or 2 additional months to manifest. From the customer perspective it’s unfair that the vendor tells them an item is in stock or will be in stock within weeks, and then it takes months to arrive. Whatever the cause, from the customer perspective it feels like the vendor has cheated them.
TLDR: Reduce dependency on pre-sale orders; don’t take money unless you have an item in stock (exceptions are made-to-order items and custom items)
I am a consumer too. I have also worked in retail sales industry for over 20 years…
What I have said above is exactly what everyone wants… find me one person who would deny it…
As a customer i wish my suppliers would do the same stuff too… they always want cash upfront… they always make me wait… they don’t offer any service they don’t offer warranty…
It’s human nature to expect everything to constantly be better/cheaper… and there is no good reason, that in good time, none of the points above will be available from the small time esk8 parts vendors…
It’s basically a waiting game… more customers, more sales, lower prices, better quality, better service… it will all happen.
The whole thing about don’t sell what you don’t have… these days thatso not possible. Boosted boards would not exist with out presales. Same goes for inboard, mellow, marbel… nine of the innovation is possible without investors.
These days 90% of our stuff is in stock (or days from the shelf) the one issues is its now spread across the world making it harder to manage.
Ive got stock of batteries in Europe and US. But of course the one guy in Australia who wants his battery asap can’t get it because we “guessed wrong”… & I lost a sale today because of it… and the guy gets his cash back… I loose the money and it now takes longer before I can submit my next battery order… this delays other orders…
It’s just how business is at the moment. Non of the vendors are rich… non of us have external funding… we rely on our loyal customers (investors)
Anyway sorry if I have offended anyone… the truth is all I speak.
It’s nice to be able to pop on and talk to someone about their product at any second they want, like what torqueboards does. But I don’t expect that.
Low prices are great, but I don’t want that be the reason a supplier went with a particular part. I care more about the quality, how long something will last rather than the price. What’s annoying however is a high price and low quality product. I think long warranties are great, because it speaks for the quality of a product. Long warranties can destroy a company with shitty products. So offering a long warranty speaks loudly for the quality.
I expect vendors to profit on my purchases, it’s necessary for the business to survive. I don’t expect that profit margin to be 35%… I think so wheres around 20% markup is fine. Making $20 on a $100 sale is fine, if you sell $1000 worth of product in a day, that’s $200 in profit, which is $1400 a week. That’s a pretty darn good salary if you can keep that pace, and any more than that gets greedy.
I think you should be able to email a vendor and get a response within 24 hours. Making a customer wait a week is absurd…
I think it’s normal for a vendor to run out of stock, but the system should be setup to avoid misleading people into thinking somethings in stock when it’s not.
Shipping stuff costs money, I get it. Free shipping is awesome, but I can’t expect a small guy to be able to absorb those costs in their operating profit margin.
To sum it up, I think vendors should respond in a reasonable amount of time to questions or problems a customer has had, the profit margin should be reasonable, and people shouldn’t be lead into believing an item is in stock when it is not.
Everything else on top is the gravy that makes one vendor preferable to another, like long warranties, live chats that actually yield the answer to your questions, and free shipping.
This is the problem. I start a thread to get people’s input and thoughts on issues they see with the businesses we buy our esk8 products from. And then you jump in on the defensive and start insulting us and talking to us like we are idiots.
Yes, everyone wants:
But we are adults and know that’s not how the world works. Both of the posts on here right now from people don’t touch on any of that really. They just ask for honesty and better communication of issues. and I agree with them completely.
I am sorry if you feel singled out by people recently, and feel like they are picking on you because you’re the big name in the game. But your post above shows exactly why people are having issues with you. You dont act in a professional way. You act like a college bro who just started a business, with your “i dont give a fuck if i offend people, that’s their problem, i don’t need them as customers” attitude. That turns people away faster than they are coming into this community.
If you took some cues from @chaka, @torqueboards, and other sellers on here, and swallowed your massive ego/pride. I think things would work out a lot better for you.
-Be honest with your customers, if you can’t give a date on when things arrive just don’t, or overestimate so much that it is a pleasant surprise when it gets there early.
-Try and be overly clear on things like your “money back guarantee”.
-Treat people like adults, not whiny children.
-Dont make claims you can’t back up
-Dont start attacking other sellers methods the minute someone brings up an issue with how you do things.
-Be honest and communicate clearly/regularly about delays for products that people have ordered.
You give respect, you get respect, it’s that simple.
We are not saying don’t do pre-sales, just be very clear that they are a pre-sale, and try and be more reasonable/realistic with timeframes. Don’t figure out the ship date based on everything working perfect. Assume the worst and then everyone will be happier when it comes sooner.
Maybe look at taking out business loans (like i assumed you did with the vesc) and getting stuff in stock and then selling it, that is how new businesses have been run for years.
Dont blame issues on customers, that just looks bad
You sold him and item and a promise. Unfortunately you were not able to back up that promise, don’t take it out on him.
On that note, if someone come here to talk about an issue they are having with your company, don’t just lock the thread and change the title. Thats like when you are trying to explain an issue to someone and they just get angry and walk away, it’s childish. If this is truly a community forum (as you have stated many times in the past), than the community should be able to talk about issues that they have. Would you lock a thread complaining about products/service from @chaka or @torqueboards?
I think complaints on here are necessary. It’s like going to the facebook or twitter of a large corporation when you have an issue and their normal support route isn’t working. It also helps others in the community make decisions on who to buy from/what to buy.
Maybe make a separate section of the forum for stuff like this?
megathreads just destroy any chance of discussion. and then people will just start making their own threads anyways.
Also, when making mod decisions they should be based on what the community wants, not what you want. Personally i feel that threads that bring up issues people have with businesses are very valuable. They help show what sort of dynamic you can expect if you buy from them.
For B to C I’d like to see more responsibility for the products sold. Shit happens. ITs nobody’s fault. Just issue a refund or replacement and be straight up about it.
For B to B I’d like to see people quit playing horseshit high school games and just treat everyone fairly. There’s a lot of politics below the surface and it all reeks of ego and arrogance. We have a chance here to help each other grow. We should be doing exactly that.