Effective communication is a key interpersonal skill and learning how each of us can improve our communication is beneficial to all. Communication is a two way process, so improving communication involves both how we deliver and listen to the message. To best service our customers, EXAIR has many ways to share and receive information.
There are the standard methods, of course, that have been around for years. Phone and fax are still very useful, and everyone has noticed that fax is slowly becoming less utilized. As dreaded as it may be, email is certainly a valuable way to communicate, especially as it allows ‘attachments’ such as photos, which as the saying goes, are definitely worth a thousand words. If video or 3D models are exchanged I am certain the number of words increases.
The newest technology for communication is via ‘chat’ which can be accessed from the EXAIR website. Here, you can chat with an Application Engineer and do something as simple as confirming a part number to something more involved like sizing a Cabinet Cooler System.
The US Postal System is still a valuable communication tool, as we send out the EXAIR Catalog (currently volume No. 30) and the EXAIR-Mail (Number 109/Fall 2016 issue just went out), and some Purchase Orders still are dropped off by the Postman.
Another method of communication is face to face. We have what we call the ‘Demo Room’ here at the factory in Cincinnati, OH. In this room, we have every type of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products, in just about every size offered, ready for demonstration and testing to your application. We’ve had visitors from all over the world come in and share face to face their applications and collaborate with us and test out the EXAIR solution.
Lastly, and since you are reading this you already are familiar with the EXAIR Blog – a great way for us to share with you our musings and thoughts, in a way that makes it a personal take on the EXAIR products and our interactions with our customers.
Effective communication is very important to us and what we do here every day. Feel free to utilize one or more of the Contact Us tools to communicate with us and we’ll be in touch!
I have recently had a few dealings with other companies recently which has left me with two reactions: 1) How they are still in business? and 2) They really have their customer service running well. The first company was, of course, a large conglomerate that provides our home internet service. The second company was a web-based company providing clothes dryer repair parts.
So the first company, it is a local supplier of internet service. I called to try and upgrade my service to higher speeds and see when I could get it changed. I have had their service for over 8 years and haven’t had a whole lot of issues with them, everything has been pretty good. That is until I tried to use their live chat feature on the website where I was told one price for the service, I then questioned why that price didn’t match the one on their site and was told in order to get that price I would need to call a certain number and speak with a representative. I thanked the person and made the call. It took me about 15 minutes or so to get to an actual human and then ended up the price still wasn’t the same and got a little run around on features, so I decided I would look at competitive service.
I spoke to their competitor in my area, which was very straightforward with pricing and answered every question I had directly and gave me a very speedy installation date of the next day, but were about 5 dollars more expensive. So I called my current provider back and got yet another different price but did finally get some straight answers… and then we got to the installation date – 3 weeks out. I asked if the fact I was a long-standing customer that was upgrading mattered and found out that is actually hurt my installation date. Since I was merely an upgrade it was extremely low ranking, but if I signed up for additional services then I would get someone to install it within 3 days. When I expressed my concern for this practice I was greeted with silence and sorry that is just how it is followed by when would you like me to schedule this.
So, needless to say, I contacted their competitor, laid everything out and got the service installed the next day, today I call to cancel my existing service and will hopefully never have to look back. The moral of the story here is, even though I was a long-standing customer the provider saw no merit in that and actually ranked me even lower than a new account. They were very cumbersome in how they answered questions which left me feeling uncomfortable and I couldn’t get even the same bad answer from the three different people I spoke with. Ultimately I left them as a customer and am glad to be with another provider.
As for the second instance, I needed to fix the clothes dryer because it was making some funny noises. So I took a few pieces off, moved stuff around, didn’t see a whole lot wrong and put it back together. It started making the noise again so I gave it “The Fonz” treatment (hit it hard) and all was good. The next time I went to dry something my wife then accused me of not starting the dryer because everything was still wet. I took a look into it yet again and this time I took the dryer all the way apart thanks to an informal video from the manufacturer. The problem seemed to be some bad preventative maintenance on my part and hair/lint wrapping around a roller guide which cause the roller to stop and the drum to start going slower, as well as a lot of burnt crud around the heating element. So then the parts search began. I found a company online whose site was easy to navigate, had lots of pictures, even used their live chat which I got quick responses from, and even found videos of how to fix the exact problem I was having. So I ordered the parts late at night on Monday, their site showed in stock and shipping the next day. Tuesday I end up getting a confirmation that the parts will be shipped. Wednesday I received the parts as well as a follow-up e-mail confirming that the parts had been delivered.
The moral of this interaction as a customer is that I experienced what I hope our customers at EXAIR experience everyday. All the information I needed was in one place and easy to find, all the parts were in stock, I got quick responses that were truthful, and in the end even after I ordered the part I still got great customer service. Needless to say I have bookmarked their site and will be returning.
Here at EXAIR, you don’t get greeted by a robot when you call during business hours, you get greeted by a human. We do our best to ensure all information you need is accessible from our site, as well as back that support up with our Application Engineering staff being available by phone, e-mail, chat, fax, visits to EXAIR, and even mail if need be. Then if you decide to order something from us, if it is standard stock, we ship it same day as long as we get the order by 3 PM EST and are shipping within the United States. Then, we offer helpful videos, as well as support after you have made your purchase. On top of all that, we stand behind our products with a 30 day guarantee and a 5 year built to last warranty.
So no matter how small a project you have, or if you are having any issues with your existing supplier for compressed air products, contact us and see if you notice a difference.
One of my sisters is in town this week, and we sat on my porch the other night (like siblings) arguing. This wasn’t a heated exchange, but a back-and-forth debate about the industrial revolution. I may have touched on this in a previous blog, but my sister is of firm belief that the industrial revolution is the worst thing to ever happen. I, pushed more toward the contrary by her stubbornness, believe it has improved our way of life. But, as the days pass and I think of cooler or less anecdotal things I could have said, I also give heavy thought to ubiquity of technology that has sprung forth over the last century. In particular, I think about emails and text messages.
Over the past decade, text and email use have exploded. An estimated 247 billion emails are sent every day (as of 2010, according to the Radicati Group Inc.). These communication mediums have increased the breadth of communication reach, but also to have removed some of the depth of a one-on-one discussion. In an era when a Facebook user can have 1,000 connections and no real relationships, it can be difficult to build true rapport with people. Especially in business.
To quote Harry Mintzberg and Peter Todd of McGill University, “Using only words, through a text or email, takes away from the nuance that comes from seeing and hearing people, from exchanging points of view and working toward agreements.”
This is one of the reasons I enjoy where I work. We talk to people. We meet with them. We develop camaraderie that extends past our business dealings to build personal ties. And, we do it day in, day out.
Many of our blogs end with the offer to call an Application Engineer. We mean it.