I have been working product support for a VERY long time now. I will not even TELL you how long because it is painful to me to realize how long. For many years I have been the person my manager sends out to soothe the irate customer. What that means, however, is that I think I know a little bit about providing good customer support. I know it from being a customer and from being support. Both sides of that have their ups and downs, trust me. The customer is NOT always right, but it certainly helps to talk to them as if all their points are valid. It helps to “feel their pain” as the saying goes. I was in pain the other night.
I broke my pool table. Yes, yes, the famous pool table I bought for my coworker. (Who, by the way – has YET to show in SL – has still not even proposed a date to come inworld. /me nods – yes, he is on the “not in favor” list.) I have been running out of prims on my land. So I decided it was time to move the pool table to the office. I “took” the table into inventory. Except….. only the top of the table came. The rest stayed there. Probably I SHOULD have read the directions. Probably would have been a good idea. I rezzed the top back out and moved it into position with the other parts. There. Right as rain. Then Oura came by and tried it. It didn’t work. It seemed to work fine for ME. I, of course, am the owner. That always means different rules. Sean dropped by a few evenings later. Sean is WAY techie. I asked him to give it a try. The verdict: Broken. The table was not dispensing the HUD. When I gave Sean the HUD myself – it didn’t work. We agreed. It was time to contact the creator of the table: Fred Wardhani.
Fred built my pool table. He runs the store French Touch Design and FW Supplies, over in PixelFashion He has other games and lots of very nice furniture. After Sean and I tried and failed to make the table work, I IM’d Fred. I figured that I would write up a notecard explaining the problem and drop the card on him. I sent him the IM as a courtesy to say the notecard was coming. Fred was online and replied immediately. He asked what kind of trouble I was having. I explained that I appeared to have broken the table by taking it and rerezzing it. Obviously I had done one of those steps incorrectly. Fred listened to my story and asked if I would like him to come by and take a look at the table. OMG! Would I???? Of COURSE I would. If I’d had any clue what to do, *grin*, I wouldn’t have been IM’ing him. I told him I’d be thrilled. He asked me to give him a few minutes to settle up what he was doing. In just a short time he called for the taxi.
Fred came to the house and we used voice. SO much easier in these situations. Fred is a dynamite looking guy, with a lovely voice. Not only that – but he was kind, patient and very, very gracious. He grasped the issue immediately and told me how we could fix it. He not only explained how to fix it, but also explained how it worked and what I was to do in the future if I wanted to move the table about. He waited while I ran through the sequence a few times. 🙂 He noted that although I had the pool sticks, I had the modern cue stick stand whereas I had the rustic table. He offered to swap stands for me. 🙂 I took him up on the offer. He was absolutely gracious, completely helpful, and made me feel like an important client instead of the bumbling newbie I really was in this instance. Let me be clear – *I* did the wrong thing. The fault was NOT in the product. But Fred never touched on that. He stuck to helping and explaining and offering other ideas. A class act, for sure.
A few mornings later I went by the store. I wanted to take photos so I could tell you all about Fred and the pool table, and how gracious he was. Fred was there, working on a new version of the pool table. A customer had wandered into Fred’s work area and was asking questions. I joined them and asked Fred’s permission to post his name and picture. Fred remembered me right away, greeted me warmly. He said he would be delighted if I mentioned him here. And – without my having actually posted anything yet – he gave me a gift certificate for the store. Again – gracious, good customer-relations. He certainly did not have to give me a gift coupon, especially as I’d not done anything but ask him to come and help me take my table into inventory and re-rez it. *grin*
So Fred Wardhani gets my vote for “Excellent Customer Support”. I thought he made an excellent product before I ever met him. Now that I’ve had this experience, I can say to you – Buy from Fred. Great products, EXCELLENT customer relations. That is something that works for all of us.