Who says old-fashioned customer service has gone out of style?
Those of a certain age can remember an America before iPods, text messaging, GPS and Blackberries. Sure, we all love technology, though just a few decades ago John and Jane Q. Customer were treated with more respect than today - and technology had not a thing to do with it. Penny candy didn't cost eighty cents and a browser was someone walking around the children's winter coat department at Montgomery Ward. A dollar was worth a dollar and you'd get a genuine smile every time you'd pull one out of your pocket.
Ah yes, the good old days when a customer's trust and confidence was everything.
In small town Midwestern America folks still hold these nearly-extinct customer service notions. "The test of any company is how they take care of the product after they get your money," affirms Dan Renfro, trustee and discerning customer extraordinaire at Community United Methodist Church in Dayton, Ohio. "And I am a rather difficult guy to please to say the least. Just ask my cable provider or my cell phone company. I'm the sort who writes letters."
Community UMC purchased a Stewart Signs' electronic message center in October, 2007. "It sure looked beautiful sitting out there at the edge of our property," Dan tells the tale. "But there was a problem: Right out of the box it didn't work. 'Twas I who pushed the church to go with a Stewart sign. To say I was embarrassed in front of the committee nay-sayers is an enormous understatement."
"Stewart touts their level of customer service?" smirks Dan the letter writer. "Alright, let's put that to the ultimate test: The Dan Renfro Test."
Contacting Stewart Church Signs, Dan was put through to a Stewart LED technician. "This tech guy wasn't in India or the Philippines so I didn't have to carry on an impersonal robot-like conversation," Dan approves with a smile. "He was in Sarasota, Florida... Stewart's only location. Yeah, he took his time with me, but I was only beginning to realize the extent to which Stewart Signs would go to take care of a customer."
It was determined by the sign technician that the church's brand new LED sign had a defective CPU right from the factory. Though extremely rare, anything manmade can (of course) fail. Most service issues can be successfully dealt with over the phone. This particular one, however, required some fine tuning on the part of Stewart Signs.
Dan continues, "A Stewart sign technician hopped the next plane to Ohio and got up inside the inner workings of the LED. He soon had it functioning like showroom new. Stewart Signs made me look really good in front of the members. What had been a devastating situation turned out to be the best service experience of my 52-year life."
Meanwhile out on busy Meyer Avenue, Community United Methodist Church's LED message center is at work nurturing a drive-by ministry; keeping Dayton, Ohio informed of the profoundly wonderful goings on inside its walls. "Our committee is convinced that we went with the right church sign company," Dan adds, speaking on behalf of the church. "We have already witnessed how Stewart Signs defines customer service."
Defining the highest level of customer service within the church sign industry is what Stewart Signs has been doing since 1968, back when iPods were only in science fiction movies.
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Our committee is convinced that we went with the right church sign company. We have already witnessed how Stewart Signs defines customer service.
- Dan Renfro, Trustee
- Community United Methodist Church
- Dayton, OH
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