Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reflections on Customer Service...

I'm not sure when it happened, and I may have discussed this here before, but I wonder when superior customer service became something to be surprised about, rather than expected.  Maybe it's just me, but I find myself almost shocked to the point of real emotion when I am provided with service that (in the words of report cards) not only meets expectations but exceeds them

Case in point:  Signature Needles.

I am lucky enough to have a few precious sets of these gorgeous tools of our trade, and I find that they add exponentially to my pleasure of knitting.  My double points were a gift from my mother, and I subsequently treated myself to a couple of circular needles.  They are divine.  It's like the golfer who says that better clubs make for a better game - these needles really do elevate my hand knitting experience.

Some of you astute folks (yes, Anne, I'm looking at you) may recall that a year or so ago I started an Elizabeth Zimmermann Aran sweater from The Knitter's Almanac (and no, I didn't make everything in the book - that could be another post, though), using the wonderfully sheepy Bartlettyarns Fisherman's Wool, and my Signature circulars.  Perfect combination of needle and yarn, just perfect.  I took my time with this project, largely because it was such a pleasurable experience and I wanted to prolong it.

As I neared the end of my sweater, I noticed that the yarn would snag on one of the joins between cable and needle, but I couldn't see anything so I kept on.

Then I found this:
I felt just sick when I saw it - no idea what I did to actually tear the join - I'm not a tight knitter, I wasn't gnawing on it in frustration, it just didn't make sense.   And I hadn't budgeted for another one.

So, I contacted the folks at Signature Needles, who asked for a picture of the damage.  I sent them what you see here.  Within 10 days, this came in the mail:

Shiny, pretty, new circular needles, for which I paid not a cent in postage or anything.

I thanked my contact at Signature Needles, but I wanted to gush and go on and on.  Why?  Because I'm no longer used to this level of service.

Before anyone says so, I realize I sound like an old fart, and that's fine.  There's a strong possibility I may be on my way to that.  But really, how does excellent customer service affect you?  Is it just another day, or does it make your day?

It sure made mine...

As an aside, I am off tomorrow for my annual Thanksgiving yarn/latte trek through the Twin Cities and beyond with Kelly, who doesn't have a blog but absolutely should.  I will be trying to blog with my iPad, and should even be able to post pictures...

see you state-side!


Sandra said...

I'm an old fart as well - I seem to overly gush about good customer service.
ANd for outstanding? GO to DisneyWOrld. THey take it a step beyond. ALl of them.

Keri said...

I had a similar experience with Lantern Moon. I stepped on one of my needles and snapped the end off. The gentlemen on the other end of the phone asked me if it was a new knitting technique he'd not yet heard of and then sent me a replacement pair within a couple of days.
I've never figured out why people seem to have forgotten that good customer service means repeat business!!

Anonymous said...

OTOH, I had terrible customer service from Lantern Moon needles -- their circs would catch the yarn in the join, and I was told 'you're using yarn that's too thin; it's your problem.'

At the time, I wasn't experienced enough to say, "Lace knitting usually uses large needles compared to the yarn size."

I fought with them, and eventually got them to replace those awful circs with dp's, but their customer service left a foul taste behind.