Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Equipment failure = customer service success

I love snowboarding. It's fun and pretty easy. I hate it when it doesn't snow (like this whole season), or when I can't go up to Tahoe, or when my equipment breaks.

This past weekend, I was up in Bear Valley, having a good day, when a thumb screw popped off one of my bindings, rendering me kind of ... screwed (no pun intended) at the top of the mountain. I made my way down very slowly, all heel-side (sooo boring), and went to the shop at the bottom of the hill.

Yes, it's a bummer when stuff breaks, but it's also cool when people step up and demonstrate great customer service. The loss of one little thumb screw led to two great little experiences:

#1: The repair shop at Bear Valley Mountain Resort: 
The guys were super-friendly and really helpful. They did not have the part I lost, of course, but they were full of great ideas to jerry-rig a solution to get me back out onto the mountain. They gave me a couple of zip-ties that worked great. No charge. You guys rock.

#2: C3/Union Binding Company: 
I went to Union's web site late on Sunday, but couldn't find what I was looking for. (Hint to C3: Make your parts store easier to find from your brand web sites.)

So I tried the LivePerson chat (without really expecting success at 10pm on a Sunday). I asked my question and was not surprised to find that their CSRs were not currently on-line.

Totally reasonable: This is not the NOC for some server farm; it's an outdoor products company. I don't expect 24/7 live customer service. I figured I'd just come back the next day and try again.

But C3 (parent company to Union) beat me to it! They had logged my late-night chat request, and I woke up to an email from Paydn, Rider Services rep at C3 Worldwide, with the answer to my question, and a link to the exact parts page I needed. (I probably should send Paydn a beer, but he might be under-age, and I don't want to contribute to the delinquency of a minor.)

Kudos, guys!

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