Bad customer service?

Rosebud

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
178
Location
Anniston Alabama
If you are in a service business you should take the time to answer questions if you don’t have time that’s great then turn the business down sooner or later you’ll have the time to do it because your business will more than likely suffer if not good for you kind of like dumping your kids off to a babysitter that is a pediphile because they wouldn’t let you feel them out and I darn sure am not furnishing a bottle to someone to get the work done maybe when finished but not to start the job my time is just as important to me as theirs are I might want to go fishing. David
You must have about a dozen Smith's in your area of the country. The ones here will be booked up for about a year or more if you want a custom gun, if its a muzzle thread and break expect two months. I don't think they see themselves as being in the service industry.
 

nksmfamjp

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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
1,370
Let me preface this by saying my question does NOT apply to anyone I've interacted with on this forum.

Historically, I've had bad customer service from gunsmiths. Simple business 101 type things - respond when a customer asks a question, answer all the questions asked, be generally polite and likable, don't act annoyed that I'm trying to give you my business, etc. Follow up when you finish the job or if you hit a snag that's going to delay completion.

For example before the pandemic I moved to a new area and was trying to find a smith. The first 3 I emailed never responded. At all. The fourth responded, but I'd asked a few questions and he only answered one question with a very brief one sentence email. I followed up and ended up giving him the work (which I was very happy with). But even then, he works out of his shop in his backyard so it was difficult to get a time to drop off the equipment (I certainly understand when your business is at your house its a little different than having a storefront with posted hours, so additional coordination is expected.)

Another example I've seen is if the smith doesn't agree with what I want done, like I want bedding to stop at the recoil lug, but the smith's believes the chamber should also be bedded. The response I've seen is to get butt-hurt and then be very dismissive or treat me like I'm in idiot. I'd happily listen to why you recommend it.. You're the expert, I'm just the guy who reads things on the internet and tries to make sense of it all.

I'm a laid back guy who treats people well. I've had many customer service focused jobs, so I really don't think it's the way I treat them. Is there something else I should be considering? Is my experience the norm or am I just that unlucky?

I agree with you and disagree with you at the same time.

I’m a terrible customer for some gunsmiths a great one for others, I’ll bet. I want to understand every bit of work going into my rifle and make sure it all passes the knowledge gained from my experience and that the gunsmith also thinks it is a feasible build.

What I mean is if I ask you to put a flush cup in a thin foam filled carbon stock, how are you going to back it so it doesn’t fall out? Have you done it before? How will you test it? Do you guarantee it?

Gunsmithing seems to be a blend of experience, art, workmanship and communication. Communication is important and not easily done.

These guys are taking a risk doing what you ask....if you ask to put a $100 Joe Blow barrel blank on your build and they put their name on it, there is forever a gun floating around with a Joe Blow barrel on it and their name. If it shoots 4” 100 yd groups, all people see is the builders name.

On the other hand, if you say chamber it in a 6.5, they may think you wanted a 6.5 Carcano like they like, but you thought you were getting a Creedmoor.....or perhaps you say 308 and they use a match reamer somebody made for 125gr bullets instead of the 180’s you were gonna shoot.

Some gunsmiths want you to say good barrel, 270 win, fiberglass stock and that is it. Others want as much detail as you can give. You get what you put into it.

Others are willing to take more input. My last rifle was 4-5 phone calls, supplied parts and a 4 page email....but I’m really happy with the result...
 

Jroberts1968

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
78
Simple answer most people will waste his or her time. Most of the time people want to be reaffirmed about the choices and to get that will ask some pretty time wasting questions. Also many people just come in to look around and ask about services that will never be done just to be in the shop. Bottom line if you do not gel with the guy behind the counter find another guy. The smith does not want to hear about the next match, hunt or shooting outing. He doesn’t care if you are using manners, McMillan or b&c. Walk in with a list of what you want done, ask for quote, ask lead time and either commit or walk away.
 

david g ranes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
583
You must have about a dozen Smith's in your area of the country. The ones here will be booked up for about a year or more if you want a custom gun, if its a muzzle thread and break expect two months. I don't think they see themselves as being in the service industry.
I’m not talking about time frame of the build I’m talking being courteous enough to go through what I wanted done you know every time I called Hart about a build I had them do the lady said hang on a minute I’ll get jack out in the shop to answer your question they sold the gun wouldn’t of mattered if it had taken 2 years to build this was 11 years ago they met their timeline and was a joy to deal with David
 

Wolf76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
887
Location
Grandville, Michigan
Let me preface this by saying my question does NOT apply to anyone I've interacted with on this forum.

Historically, I've had bad customer service from gunsmiths. Simple business 101 type things - respond when a customer asks a question, answer all the questions asked, be generally polite and likable, don't act annoyed that I'm trying to give you my business, etc. Follow up when you finish the job or if you hit a snag that's going to delay completion.

For example before the pandemic I moved to a new area and was trying to find a smith. The first 3 I emailed never responded. At all. The fourth responded, but I'd asked a few questions and he only answered one question with a very brief one sentence email. I followed up and ended up giving him the work (which I was very happy with). But even then, he works out of his shop in his backyard so it was difficult to get a time to drop off the equipment (I certainly understand when your business is at your house its a little different than having a storefront with posted hours, so additional coordination is expected.)

Another example I've seen is if the smith doesn't agree with what I want done, like I want bedding to stop at the recoil lug, but the smith's believes the chamber should also be bedded. The response I've seen is to get butt-hurt and then be very dismissive or treat me like I'm in idiot. I'd happily listen to why you recommend it.. You're the expert, I'm just the guy who reads things on the internet and tries to make sense of it all.

I'm a laid back guy who treats people well. I've had many customer service focused jobs, so I really don't think it's the way I treat them. Is there something else I should be considering? Is my experience the norm or am I just that unlucky?

This is a little like finding a good outfitter. I have 2 GSs within an hour of me that I trust, but I recently sent some work to kampfeld custom and he was quick/ curtious and delivered my rebarrel in the time he promised. I agree that some of the GSmiths and the trades profession in general, suck at customer service. My advice is don't be afraid to send work out or ask for a recommendation. Don't do business with people that don't really want yours. That's how I play the game.
 

Rosebud

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
178
Location
Anniston Alabama
Yeah, I understand what you're after in a rifle, some of them are pretty happy to have a customer who is knowledgeable as you, the there will be others you drive insane. my best friend is the same way. Must know the minutia about every thread size and tensile strength. That and he's an auburn fan, sucks to be him sometimes,😊
 

bdlesh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
356
Location
texas
Sounds like the soup nazi from Seinfeld to me......No gun for you!

I am in the home remodeling business. We have a terrible reputation for ripping off people, not finishing on time or ever and sketchy at best. We rank right behind tow truck drivers. I have been in business for 35 years and do my best to make every customer happy. That is trying at times to say the least. But no matter how busy I am, I will take return your call, text or email and answer any questions you have. That is what I am being paid for. If you don't want to talk to your customers or have to deal with them, find something else to do. You might think you are above having to provide customer service.....and you will be right when people pass thr word you dont want their business.
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
17,037
Location
Great Falls, MT
"If" you can find a gunsmith that responds to your every query on your time and not his, dropping everything to cater to your needs and wants, stick with him or her—best of luck to you.
 

3chester

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
31
Location
MN
You can have it done fast. You can have it done well. You can have it done cheap. Pick any two. ThinkN first read that sign at the shop of a very good gunsmith about 40 years ago and kinda keep it in mind whenever need a bit of machine shop work from guys that have a lathe and skills to operate it properly.
 

Web1350

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
92
Location
Pennsylvania
Let me preface this by saying my question does NOT apply to anyone I've interacted with on this forum.

Historically, I've had bad customer service from gunsmiths. Simple business 101 type things - respond when a customer asks a question, answer all the questions asked, be generally polite and likable, don't act annoyed that I'm trying to give you my business, etc. Follow up when you finish the job or if you hit a snag that's going to delay completion.

For example before the pandemic I moved to a new area and was trying to find a smith. The first 3 I emailed never responded. At all. The fourth responded, but I'd asked a few questions and he only answered one question with a very brief one sentence email. I followed up and ended up giving him the work (which I was very happy with). But even then, he works out of his shop in his backyard so it was difficult to get a time to drop off the equipment (I certainly understand when your business is at your house its a little different than having a storefront with posted hours, so additional coordination is expected.)

Another example I've seen is if the smith doesn't agree with what I want done, like I want bedding to stop at the recoil lug, but the smith's believes the chamber should also be bedded. The response I've seen is to get butt-hurt and then be very dismissive or treat me like I'm in idiot. I'd happily listen to why you recommend it.. You're the expert, I'm just the guy who reads things on the internet and tries to make sense of it all.

I'm a laid back guy who treats people well. I've had many customer service focused jobs, so I really don't think it's the way I treat them. Is there something else I should be considering? Is my experience the norm or am I just that unlucky?
Your concerns and comments are all valid. When you are spending hard-earned money and putting an item which is very important to you in a stranger's hands you want to be comfortable with your decision and have confidence in that person and that person should understand and respect that. There are too many business people that think they're "the only game in town" and have big heads because of it. Having to answer questions, etc., is "the cost of doing business".
 

Sanford338

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
142
Location
San Antonio
Why does asking a question and trying to understand something make me seem not laid back?

Same with question 4, I'm not bellyaching. I'm asking a question to hopefully learn something.
Agreed... this and many forums are for learning IMO .. but most of them unfortunately are not... not sure if rewording your questions would truly change the replies...🤷🏻‍♂️
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
17,037
Location
Great Falls, MT
Your concerns and comments are all valid. When you are spending hard-earned money and putting an item which is very important to you in a stranger's hands you want to be comfortable with your decision and have confidence in that person and that person should understand and respect that. There are too many business people that think they're "the only game in town" and have big heads because of it. Having to answer questions, etc., is "the cost of doing business".
The same is true for the customer side; they think just because it is their hard-earned money, they can demand a level of service they think they deserve. It takes a customer and service provider to come to common grounds and agree upon a business transaction to be a success. There are always two sides to a story, and sometimes it takes a compromise. For example, if the gunsmith is working on your rifle and in the middle of a critical process, do you want him to stop just because I call for a question? That means he might not be able to answer a question when the phone rings. There is no perfect gunsmith or customer.
 

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