Evan’s 5 Minutes…on Customer Service Reviews & MIP
It’s time for a special Wednesday edition of Evan’s 5 Minutes! It seems like we’re all carving our own little piece of the BSRC pie lately, and I wanted to take just a second to show my support for Brian’s post earlier today about the “try-before-you-buy” idea at local hobby shops. I think it’s an awesome idea that the manufacturers could really benefit from if they got on board. If you make something totally awesome, prove it to the consumers by letting them take it out for a test bash it before they shell out the cash. If it’s as awesome as you advertise, the product will sell itself. The extra sales you can generate will pay for the demo vehicles in no time. So to all you RC MFGs out there, send a demo of your latest and greatest stuff to the local hobby shops. I’m betting a test drive is all it takes to sell a truly high quality and awesome product. Now, onto some content I didn’t just steal from Brian 🙂
Over the past few months, Brian and I have tossed around a new review idea. While we do everything possible to review as many RC-related vehicles and products as we can, there is one thing that no one really takes time to put under a microscope; customer service and support. The idea was simple. If something did happen to go wrong with something we purchased, we would call customer service and go through the support channel just like a normal everyday consumer. At no time would we divulge we were from Big Squid RC. After we went through the entire support experience, we would write up a little review on how things went.
In an ideal world accidents would never happen, nothing would ever break, and the need for customer service and support departments wouldn’t exist. However, the world we live in is far from ideal, as you know. Whether you’re an experienced veteran in the RC hobby, or someone just starting out, the support and service a company provides is vital when things do happen in our less-than-ideal world. To me, customer service and support is just as important as making a quality product.
Interestingly enough, we didn’t really have anything going wrong with a product we purchased when we first started kicking around the idea. So, we set it off to the side, waiting for an opportunity to put our little idea to the test. A few weeks ago, that opportunity presented itself. Here is my 5 Minutes…on MIP (Moore’s Ideal Products LCC)
For those of you who don’t know, MIP is a RC part and machine shop who is known for their CVDs, diff kits, and custom machining work. I had grown tired of replacing the plastic drive shafts on my Stampede 2×4, and decided an upgrade was in order. I stopped by my local hobby shop and picked up a set of MIP CVDs and headed home. After I got home and got the Stampede on the bench, I unpacked my CVDs to get to work. It was at that point I realized that one of the small solid pins that holds the CVDs together was missing. The pin was tiny, but crucial. It could have been lost in packaging, shipping, or being moved around my LHS. Regardless of where it was, I needed it. It was time to put MIP to the test.
I hit MIP Online in search of their support phone number or e-mail. Their contact link was easy to find, and their phone numbers were listed right there. I’m someone that prefers to actually talk to someone rather than e-mail, ironically enough, so I grabbed the support number and gave it a call. Two rings and I was taken to a simplistic phone system that asked me to put in an extension, or press “0” for the operator. Since I didn’t have an extension, “0” was my choice. Two more rings and a gentleman answered the phone.
After providing him with the part number, I explained my case. The gentleman was nice, polite, and very knowledgeable. He knew the exact part number of the kit in question, and the exact part number that contained the part I needed. He asked me to send him a quick e-mail with a quick description of what I needed, as well as my mailing address, and he would get the parts in the mail right away. After talking a little more, I realized I was talking to the company owner, Eustace Moore Jr.. He explained that he personally handled every support request. If he did need to involve someone else, he would still quarterback the entire situation to make sure it was resolved. He restated to send him the e-mail, and thanked me for the call.
On Monday evening, I sent the e-mail explaining what I needed, and my address. Within 15 minutes, I had a response from Eustace stating the parts would be mailed out tomorrow (Tuesday). On Friday afternoon, my mailman dropped off a package from MIP, containing exactly what I needed. From California to northeast Indiana in 4 days through USPS. I installed the missing piece and CVD, and I was off to bashing.
From end to end, Eustace and MIP handled this situation almost perfectly! They were prompt, polite, and kept open a good line of communication. They fixed the problem on the first call, heck, in less than 5 minutes with no hassles. The parts came relatively quickly, and were exactly what I needed. As you’ve come to know, we here at Big Squid have a word to show extremely high praise for something. When it comes to my experience with MIP I believe the use of that word is in order. My customer service and support experience with MIP was tentacles! It is also worth noting that after a full day of running my Stampede 2×4 last weekend, I’ve yet to have any issues at all with the MIP CVDs. That also speaks volumes as I’m known around the office of the guy who can destroy just about anything in half a lipo pack or less (more on that in a later column).
That just about does it for my special Wednesday edition Squiddys. Just a quick disclaimer to all those MFGs of RC stuff out there… The BSRC team may be calling you next, whether you know it or not! As always, feel free to contact me anytime at evan(at)bigsquidrc.com if you have any comments, questions, or want to hear about something in 5 minutes or less!