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  1. #31
    ColdFusion's Avatar
    ColdFusion is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnj View Post
    email him back and tell him to sort this out if he doesnt like questions:-

    http://www.sterling-power.com/support-faq.htm
    There's a Contact Us link on the top-right of that page. Suggest you "email him back" yourself.

  2. #32
    photodog is offline Lord High Commander of Upper Broughton and Gunthorpe
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    [COLOR="MediumTurquoise"]On 17/08/2010 11:16, Charles Sterling wrote:

    Sounds like me , I am afraid some customers are under the impression that you have all day to spend on their case, we make a web site and catalogue with all the information he requested and requires , As such we direct people to the information which they need so as not go over the information already there, its sort of defeats the whole point of making the broucher and web site in the first place. The fact the request was on e mail means access to the web site, so download the information about the product and all the answers are there . With over 300 e mails a day we try to answer and direct as much as possible. I accept our approach is blunt and to the point but we do always help our customers , If you want technical advice we are happy to provide it, if you want a new friend then buy a dog . we are a engineering company not a PR company[ /COLOR]


    Here is a guy who is setting himself up for failure. Some of you guys think this is great, but in reality this is a fast road to obscurity with the only customers being a small group of beardy ex-gear types who think that this sort of thing is fun and clever.

    Not only is this arrogant in the extreme, but it is wrong as well.. a lot of his customers will have email access but not the ability to download and surf the internet... as they are on poor connections...

    His attitude is typical of small business that in the end fail... "If only we didnt have to deal with these pesky customers, we would be doing great!"

    This attitude is a direct barrier to growth and client retention, and shows a lack of understanding of both basic communications and the nature of his customer base.

    He will only be able to grow his business if he provides excellent customer support... he sees the act of providing customer support as a barrier to his growth... as it takes time and energy... in reality if he invested to fix his customer support, the shackles would come off his business and he would be able to grow and free himself of the odvious burden of actually giving a **** about his customers.

    Frankly its a disgrace that we should come up with excuses for this sort of thing... and a good example of a second rate British business that will fail and everyone will bang on about how we no longer do good engineering and we dont produce anything of worth in this country anymore and blah blah blah.

  3. #33
    Andrew_Fanner is offline Registered User
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    >>>
    Frankly its a disgrace that we should come up with excuses for this sort of thing... and a good example of a second rate British business that will fail and everyone will bang on about how we no longer do good engineering and we dont produce anything of worth in this country anymore and blah blah blah.
    >>>
    ISTR his phone menus are multilingual which knocks some other suppliers' efforst down...
    Two beers please, my friend is paying.

  4. #34
    Blue5's Avatar
    Blue5 is offline Registered User
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    Default They certainly don't want my business

    I don't think its just Sterling, it seems endemic, I sent off six enquiries yesterday morning by e-mail, three for boat spares and three for building materials.

    The building materials quotes were all returned by mid day yesterday, still have not had one returned for boat spares.

  5. #35
    prv is online now Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_Fanner View Post
    Producing technical documentation is hard, either the tech does it, and its insufficient for the non-tech, or the non-tech does it, drives the tech up the wall with questions and the tech's leaflet becomes three thick manuals.
    We're fortunate in that both of our writers are ex-techs. So while they still have to ask us questions to find out details, they're sensible questions that are easy to answer. Their desks are right next to ours as well, so they pick up a lot of stuff by osmosis rather than having to have meetings or exchange formal specs.

    We also write some stuff ourselves, but it has to go via the writers before it can go out, and they're all too happy to send it back if it's not good enough :-)

    Pete

  6. #36
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    [QUOTE=photodog;2610432][COLOR="MediumTurquoise"]


    Here is a guy who is setting himself up for failure. Some of you guys think this is great, but in reality this is a fast road to obscurity with the only customers being a small group of beardy ex-gear types who think that this sort of thing is fun and clever.
    QUOTE]

    He'll be setting himself up for a failure if he spends too much time answering questions and not enough time developing and selling the kit.

    Cultivating people might be useful if he was expecting lots of repeat business or his product gave him a big return per unit sold - not for someone whose customers are buying one-offs - possibly two-offs of low value kit - the returns on his investment of time are too small.

    He answers a question (even if the answer isn't on the website) he MIGHT get an order but he has lost time that he could be spending processing real orders from people with money just as good as (better than in terms of banking!) the enquirers.
    He has to balance real orders against future possible orders - and the balance doesn't swing too far towards speculative stuff.

    Sorry guys - but bluntly, on an individual basis you just aren't worth it to him (not his words of course and not meant judgementally) and if you go off in a huff he has lost nothing and may have gained something because he can move on to the next real order faster.
    Missed my opinion? - No problem! - Someone elses will be along in a few minutes.

  7. #37
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    :-) kind off see your point with my business head on but with my customer hat on maybe then he should not sell to individuals and hope that his big orders and product development make him the money/success I assume he went into business to get.

    Having never spoken to the guy I and any other posters who have not, could be doing him a dis-service but if I was receiving feedback from clients /prospective clients of mine like this I would at least give it long hard thought. I have spent thouands of pounds with Kris Crusiers because they treat me with respect, even my stupid questions and make me want to return. Anyhow guess it is time I went off and bought a dog. We can all make our own choices where we spend our money. Mine is now made.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDH View Post
    I don't think its just Sterling, it seems endemic, I sent off six enquiries yesterday morning by e-mail, three for boat spares and three for building materials.

    The building materials quotes were all returned by mid day yesterday, still have not had one returned for boat spares.
    It never ceases to amze me how some business owners fail to grasp the most basic of principles..
    Your biggest asset is your customer base, without them you are nothing.

    As someone whose always been self employed, some customers a real pain, as well as being thicker than 2 short planks, so lazy they cannot be bothered to read instructions or do a bit of basic research and this type always shouts loudest soonest.

    BUT you always treat them with respect and try to help. Even if ultimately you don't make a sale or have to refund them, you do it with good grace so they still have a positive experience.

    Mr Sterling is obviously so successful that he can afford to risk his reputation being dragged through the mud on a forum.
    I

  9. #39
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    I have a Sterling regulator bought after researching on the net. I fitted it myself and found myself with a query after reading the instructions. I phoned and had a sensible conversation that solved my problem. I'm a happy bunny now my batteries charge fully and am even happier to recommend Mr Sterling's products to you all.
    What else do you want? If you are a techno-numpty without a suitable education why do you expect someone to give you one-to-one tuition on his time? Just go pay someone else local to choose and fit the box - they will probably be more amenable to chatting.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianj99 View Post
    Mr Sterling is obviously so successful that he can afford to risk his reputation being dragged through the mud on a forum.
    I
    Both my Sterling products came via the local chandler Percy M See, in Fareham. He buys from Marathon on Hayling Island one of the big chandlery distributers in the UK. Both Battery Charger and Power Mangement Panel were cheaper in the chandlers than via Sterlings website. Given the amount of his products sat in the Marine Superstore in Port Solent I suspect the majority of his business is supply the trade rather than customers. He also supplies to his US distributor.

    Since he has been going 15 years and his products work well and folk continue buy them, I suggest he has got it right. I do like the way he goes into detail of fast battery charging giving both pro and cons and how his products work.

    Pete
    Moody 31

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