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 Customer service and loyalty

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tech2576

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Age : 61
Location : North end of GA
Registration date : 2012-01-19

PostSubject: Customer service and loyalty   Thu May 10, 2012 11:10 pm

Long story short.
Bought a cheap lighter about a month ago at the best B&M around.
2 weeks later went in with the step-son to get a couple cigars. The owner starts a conversation with the son and then slips him a " south of the border" cigar to take back to base with him. Just as a thank you for his service.

Tonight I went in to pick up couple odds and ends. He was working on a lighter and saying how people could break lighters so easily.

I mentioned that mine wasn't working and asked to see it. Mind you this lighter had no warranty and was a cheapy.

He took it apart, saw the problem. I was browsing and not paying attention really.
He said "I will make them replace this one even if there is no warranty because I know this isn't very old".
I thought he exchanged parts with a new one. When I got home and sat down to light a bowl, BRAND NEW lighter.

No wonder I pay a little more per tin and burn some gas to support him.
If you have a good local B&M - go spend a couple bucks next week!
I spent $90 tonight and needed maybe $30 worth.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Thu May 10, 2012 11:21 pm

Sounds like everyone wins: B&M has a great customer, the customer has a good retailer. I love it when it all works out. Cool
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Boxerbuddy

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Location : Boston, Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-06

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Fri May 11, 2012 1:23 am

OMG capitalism actually WORKS!
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Hater

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Age : 44
Location : Ojai, Ca.
Registration date : 2012-03-20

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Fri May 11, 2012 2:38 am

Boxerbuddy wrote:
OMG capitalism actually WORKS!

YOU DONT SAY!!!! affraid
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kieveryuu

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Location : Greater Boston
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Fri May 11, 2012 2:55 am

The only reason I was willing to spend the money and my Jetline lighter was that the B&M fully supports it (and has on one occasion). Great service and often a good, or at the very least interesting, conversation.
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J Soshae

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Age : 44
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Fri May 11, 2012 9:49 pm

Our Birmingham B&M location is also well run. The owner replaced a lighter when the electric ignitor would not create the flame. That is worth a couple of extra bucks a tin to me.
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BuckeyeBoy34



Age : 39
Location : Sunny and tropical Akron, Ohio
Registration date : 2012-04-03

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Sat May 26, 2012 5:32 pm

I agree extra service is worth a few extra bucks. I try to support my local B&M when I can because it like many others is great in the customer service dept. I am glad to hear that this is a comon thing. I d hate to see all of the B&M's fade away. I think the B&M is an important part of the hobby.
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flytyer

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Age : 51
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Sat May 26, 2012 7:22 pm

I support two of the three local B&Ms in my general area. The service alone is worth the few extra dollars to me. The other B&Ms prices are way over the top, and I refuse to buy there.
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Cuervo25_1

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Age : 43
Location : North New Jersey
Registration date : 2011-01-13

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Sun May 27, 2012 1:03 am

I wish I lived near Boswells or Pipes and cigars! but noooo all we have is those dang wanna be tobacco shops that sell hooka junk, RYO crap and the run of the mill garbage tobacco. Occasionally they have some good stuff but not often.

On the same note however ther is a couple places I frenquant for hunting and fishing gear based solely on the treatment I get and their knowledge. One is about 10 min from my house and the other I actually cross the border to NY state. I may pay a little more but it is well worth it knowing if I have questions that they actually know what to tell me because they been there or used the item, or just because they hunt or fish themselves.

I now hear of a shop where the gentleman fixes trucks for a living but sells guns from there as well about $% min away (No worries he has a FFL) and many people including state Troopers and other law enforcement use him because of his knowledge and prices can't be beat as far as firearms.



I am a firm believer that the mom and pop shops are the way to go,corporate has lost touch with their clientel and it is sad.
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TheSmokeamater

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Age : 51
Location : Freeport, New York
Registration date : 2012-05-26

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Sun May 27, 2012 8:00 am

Boxerbuddy wrote:
OMG capitalism actually WORKS!

cuervo25_1 wrote:
I am a firm believer that the mom and pop shops are the way to go,corporate has lost touch with their clientel and it is sad.

..... two accurate statements. like everything else, its all a matter of degree.
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PeterD

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Age : 65
Location : Hixson, TN (Chattanooga Area)
Registration date : 2012-06-04

PostSubject: Customer Service is Hard to Find...   Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:14 pm

Unfortunately this is the exception rather than the rule...and its a mighty shame. Most of the "so-called" tobacco shops are not catering to us but to a mass market and could care less.

...and its everywhere! I recently sent a message to a well known tobacco shop in the London area inquiring if they would sell and ship tobacco products to me if a check was sent drawn on a US bank. There reply, " We cannot and do not send tobacco products to America." I knew the credit card game wouldn't work, and while they as a business can pick and choose how to respond and work with customers, a terse reply like I received, is certainly not what I would expect from a traditional pipe and tobacco shop.

Going the "extra mile" for a customer breeds loyalty, respect, and repeat business. It should be a pleasure to do business with others...not a nightmare! king
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:23 am

PeterD wrote:
Unfortunately this is the exception rather than the rule...and its a mighty shame. Most of the "so-called" tobacco shops are not catering to us but to a mass market and could care less.

...and its everywhere! I recently sent a message to a well known tobacco shop in the London area inquiring if they would sell and ship tobacco products to me if a check was sent drawn on a US bank. There reply, " We cannot and do not send tobacco products to America." I knew the credit card game wouldn't work, and while they as a business can pick and choose how to respond and work with customers, a terse reply like I received, is certainly not what I would expect from a traditional pipe and tobacco shop.

Going the "extra mile" for a customer breeds loyalty, respect, and repeat business. It should be a pleasure to do business with others...not a nightmare! king

In the first case, I've rarely had trouble when dealing with a store or business face to face, over the phone or email. Maybe you're unlucky.

As for the European shops, you are not their customer.
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zjgilbert

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Age : 27
Location : Northern Virginia
Registration date : 2012-06-04

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:29 am

Boxerbuddy wrote:
OMG capitalism actually WORKS!

Shocked Who would have thought?!
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TheSmokeamater

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Age : 51
Location : Freeport, New York
Registration date : 2012-05-26

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:48 pm

PeterD wrote:
Unfortunately this is the exception rather than the rule...and its a mighty shame. Most of the "so-called" tobacco shops are not catering to us but to a mass market and could care less.

...and its everywhere! I recently sent a message to a well known tobacco shop in the London area inquiring if they would sell and ship tobacco products to me if a check was sent drawn on a US bank. There reply, " We cannot and do not send tobacco products to America." I knew the credit card game wouldn't work, and while they as a business can pick and choose how to respond and work with customers, a terse reply like I received, is certainly not what I would expect from a traditional pipe and tobacco shop.

Going the "extra mile" for a customer breeds loyalty, respect, and repeat business. It should be a pleasure to do business with others...not a nightmare! king

Going the extra mile SHOULD USUALLY breed loyalty, respect and repeat business. And yes, it should be a pleasure to do business with others rather than a nightmare. I agree 100%.

Unfortunately this is not always the case. Particularly in my situation. I've been in home furnishings sales since 2000. I can't even count the number of times I have "gone the extra mile" & bent over backwards for customers who instead of showing appreciation in any form, just demand more and more then get PO'd if even the slightest, most inconsequential thing goes wrong.

I am aware that my profession is generally looked upon as a half a notch above Used Car Salesman in terms of integrity. For this reason I have always maintained the highest degree possible of honesty and integrity. Not only because it's the RIGHT thing to do, but also in hope that it would set me apart from the others. But when you are consistently treated like dirt thousands of times by clients you are trying to help it really makes you pessimistic about the consumer public over all. I have actually asked myself, "Should just start being a real A-hole like so many of my colleagues?" But no. I won't stoop to that.

Customer service is a two way street.

Last week a woman came in the store who had a bad experience with another retailer the week before. They jerked her around something awful. Through a series of lies and broken promises she did not end up receiving her order. My store was her last hope for getting what she needed on time at a price she could afford. She was made so defensive due to her bad experience that her behavior came off as very near abusive to me. After sympathizing with her she just got worse. I turned cordial and professional, but inside I was on the verge of kicking her out. She finally purchased. She called me the other day after receiving her delivery. She told me everything went well, and she apologized for "acting irrationally". Such few and far between phone calls are what keep me from turning into an A-hole salesman.

I am only speaking from my perspective in my tiny world. Great service does not always beget a loyal, appreciative, lucrative or even civilized customer base.
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PeterD

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Age : 65
Location : Hixson, TN (Chattanooga Area)
Registration date : 2012-06-04

PostSubject: Some excellent observations!   Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:52 pm

You have made some "telling" observations...yes, I too believe that there is responsibility on both sides. Customer service though, is something everyone should be afforded, even when the customer may not deserve it.

In the past, "the customer is always right" mentality existed with many companies going way overboard to satisfy. Of course the customer is not always right...but they are the customer, none-the-less. From my perspective, the pipe and tobacco shop is one place I seek a meaningful customer service experience. Even if you can't satisfy a request, there's a way to respond appropriately.

Oh well, theres one tip I've tried to incorporate into my behavior...when I focus on what the customer is communicating...no matter how negative...I'm not as likely to to get caught-up in their emotions, but rather I can concentrate on assisting them. I use the same principle with my children as well.

...I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm objective judgement in all human affairs....A. Einstein 1950
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zjgilbert

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Age : 27
Location : Northern Virginia
Registration date : 2012-06-04

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:30 pm

I thought I'd give my two cents worth on this topic. I'm a part time shift manager at my parents' sandwich restaurant since I'm also going to school in the fall and spring. I have a very good idea of what it means to have good customer service. There are specific customers that I can recall and what they always get. Ben likes to get a variety of subs, so it's kind of random with him. Jason always gets a large steak and cheese on white bread or pastrami and corned beef on white, or occasionally he'll get a salad with steak and cheese on it. Jeff gets a turkey, no mayonnaise, no cheese medium size, on white. Knowing your customer, what they like, and actually taking an interest in them makes them feel not just welcomed, but desired, thus they desire to give you their money! I'll use my local B&M to further emphasize my point. I started smoking the hour I turned 18. From then till about a year ago I would frequent a local tobacco shop. The only reason I don't go by there too often is they specialize more in cigars than pipe tobaccos. Back on point though. After shopping there only a couple of times they began to recognize me as a regular. A few visits later they knew my name. It got to the point where I could just say "give me something you know I'll like," and they would. To this day I will go out of my way to pick up a tin or two of tobacco on pay day. I can get the same tobacco elsewhere right across from where I work. At that shop, as well as other local shops, however I'm viewed as just another local pothead looking for a cigar to rip up to stuff full of weed or a pipe to stuff full of green herb. I have frequented those places more than a handful of times though. I guess the long and short of what I'm trying to say is knowing your customer is key. When you know them and take an interest they are guaranteed to be a customer for life. One last thought, giving freebees always helps. The aforementioned customers will occasionally get free stuff from me because of their continued patronage. If the customer is treated as a friend instead of just a dollar sign they'll be much more patient and understanding in those hard times when a mistake may be made, and a regular visitor of whatever shop one may be running.
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tech2576

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Age : 61
Location : North end of GA
Registration date : 2012-01-19

PostSubject: Re: Customer service and loyalty   Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:08 pm

Knowing the customer is a key anthough the bigger you get the harder it is.

This guy, when I called and asked about mhaveing Stonehaven and told him who I was, said "yep, gotcha."
I walked in the next day, 30 seconds later he threw 4 lbs. on the counter and smiled!

Never had to say a word.

Bet your bottom dollar he gets alot of my money!
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