HomeWelcomeReviewsEditorials/PressReferenceShopping MallLinksPhoto ArchiveSearchContact
Customer Service
Editorial September 2008

Whether a collector buys a model, or a company gives one as a promotional item in support of a machine sale, the expectation is the same.  The model in the box will be as expected and the customer in either case will be satisfied.  However life being what it is sometimes expectations are not fulfilled.  The model may have broken or missing parts.  Perhaps the collector is just disappointed with the quality of the model.  Or maybe the owner just needs some help to put the model together.  With this the notion of after sales service kicks in, and this is an area where the customer should be king.

The vast majority of construction models are not bought from a local store where an issue can be immediately dealt with face-to-face.  Delivery tends to be by mail order, and for many collectors this may even be from another country, perhaps even with a different language.  So what should be expected by the customer in these circumstances? 

If a customer is able to telephone then a direct resolution of an issue should be the target, or as a minimum, a call back within three working days with a resolution.

For many, the first approach might be to send an e-mail to either the dealer or to the model maker direct.  Cranes Etc considers that it is reasonable for all e-mails from customers to be responded to within one working day either with an answer, or as a minimum, an acknowledgement that the mail has been received and is being attended to.  For matters related to defective models, a response on the issue should be made within three working days with a proposal to rectify.  If for any reason a longer response time is necessary then the customer should be told when to expect an answer and this date should be met, or a further update given.

To correct a defect on a model Cranes Etc considers that a 'no-quibble' attitude should be adopted by the dealer or maker.  Replacement parts should be shipped to the collector, or if necessary, the return of the model organised for replacement or refund.  All these transactions should be executed quickly and without the customer having to chase the solution. 

Excellent customer service would be offering a refund if a customer is merely not happy with a model, even if it is defect free.  Cranes Etc has direct experience of dealing with a number of model manufacturers and dealers on such matters.  Some companies are able to exhibit benchmark performance in line with the expectations expressed in this editorial.  Others have been slower and required an element of chasing.  None have exhibited a performance or attitude which Cranes Etc would describe as 'bad'.

Excellent after sales customer service has a cost, and the purest way for the model maker to reduce this cost is to reliably deliver defect-free models which meet customer expectations.  For the dealer or model maker that does not offer excellent customer service when needed, the long term cost is poor reputation, lost repeat sales, and failure. 

Cranes Etc
Missing windscreen wiper.
Broken track link.
Broken windscreen.