[HELP] How to handle customers.

Discussion in 'Strings' started by t0nym4c, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. t0nym4c

    t0nym4c Rookie

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    Hey Guys,

    Last week I received a complaint from one of my customers. His strings snapped after two days of tennis. I believe the new string job had about 5 hours on it on the first day and maybe more on the second day. He was upset and said I did a horrible job. Instead of arguing, I offered to string his racket for free. I figured that even though I would lose revenue I would be able to retain a customer.

    His racket was strung with Prince Synthetic gut without duraflex. Not the most durable stuff imo. I did not get to see where his strings broke because he had already sent the racket to another stringer, but I do not believe it was my fault. I'm just curious how would you guys handle the situation?
     
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  2. canadave

    canadave Professional

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    I'm sure you'll get lots of replies from people who are stringers....I'll just say upfront that I've never strung a racquet before. I'll also say I understand the desire to keep a customer happy (the customer is always right).

    However, having heard players complain about this sort of thing before, I always wonder: how exactly, in their minds, did the job you did contribute in any way to the string breaking prematurely?

    Think about it. How exactly can you string a racquet so that it breaks prematurely? Maybe if you accidentally strung it at 120 lbs tension? But other than that, I don't understand how a customer's complaint that "my string broke because you did a horrible stringing job" makes any sense at all. My inclination would be to politely point that out, and try to help them figure out a better option for next time (i.e. maybe they've never used that string before and didn't realize it wasn't the most durable of strings; maybe they shank balls a lot, and they don't know that that can lessen the life of strings; etc).

    Anyway, like I said, just wondering how a stringer can "mess up" a string job so that the string breaks too soon.
     
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  3. t0nym4c

    t0nym4c Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply. I know what you mean. I'm not sure how a stringer can contribute to strings breaking prematurely besides burning the strings while weaving. What really ticked me off was that he was able to play a few sets. If the string broke on the first hit then it would be a different story, but it didn't.

    What can I do?
     
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  4. GeorgeLucas

    GeorgeLucas Banned

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    tell him to go boink a dolphin. don't associate your respectable stringing business with unsavory fellows like that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
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  5. t0nym4c

    t0nym4c Rookie

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    That made me LOL. I want to, but I fear that he will give me bad reviews. Word of mouth is the most effective marketing strategy.
     
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  6. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    PSG16 is what.... $4 or so? Just restring it for the customer and perhaps he will appreciate the service after the sale and keep coming back to you.
     
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  7. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    First, ask him how many hours he has played with the string job. If he's played ~10+ hours with a syn gut string job, it's reasonable, and not unexpected it would break that fast.

    Second, what was he using before? If he was using something more durable, and then you recommended (or substituted) PSG in it's stead, you should have warned him if it was within your knowledge to do so.

    Third, tell him to bring the frame to you next time. If it's notched all over the place, that's not your problem or fault. You can offer to restring for him, but it's not going to fix anything. If nothing else, it'll just break in the same amount of time, and perpetuate the notion that you are a bad stringer.

    Sounds like a catch-22 to me.

    Edit: Although I'd offer free labor with his usual string if he really wanted.
     
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  8. t0nym4c

    t0nym4c Rookie

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    Prior this this string job he was using Maxim touch mains with Gosen OG Sheep crosses. I believe that would be less durable than Prince Synthetic gut. What sucks was that I did not recommend the strings to him.
     
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  9. samster

    samster Legend

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    Offer to string his racket for free with Babolat Duralast 15G
     
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  10. samster

    samster Legend

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    Also, 5 hours with what? Drilling against a ball machine?
     
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  11. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    You have to know where the string broke. He could have been hitting pressureless balls at full swing for all you know.

    Without calling him a liar, he needs to show you what happen to the string job. If it were a grommet that you forgot to tube, or a knot pulled loose, then yes it would be your fault.

    As a stringer you have to know what kind of player your customer is. If you know he's a constant string breaker, offer him a more durable string or caution him that the string he wants may not last. If he's the type of person to complain and not give you a chance to redeem yourself, then he's better off with another stringer or a big box store.
     
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  12. xxgt465xx

    xxgt465xx New User

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    This is in no way your fault. The only way it would be, is if it broke right around a grommet and you didn't let them know before stringing. Prince synthetic gut is extremely cheap string. I string about 25+ racquets a week at my local club and I get at least 2 people every month complaining about things that are far beyond my control. You handled it correctly. Also, you really need to see where it broke. There are so many things that could cause breakage: shank, people that destroy the top of the racquet when they pick up a ball off the court, and just hitting the ball with spin oddly enough ;)
     
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  13. t0nym4c

    t0nym4c Rookie

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    When I strung the racket, I did not see any flared grommets or sharp edges. Also I did not get to see the racket after the strings broke because he took it to another stringer. Bummer.
     
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  14. NoNameZ

    NoNameZ Semi-Pro

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    from my experience, this wouldn't be your fault, but I admire the fact that you offered to restring for him.
     
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  15. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    I am not a forensic stringologist, so while I'm almost sure premature breakage is not your fault my suggestion is to restring his frame at no charge (to keep the positive word of mouth). For PSGD that will cost you less than $4 (plus labor). Then when the guy asks you to restring, apologize, but tell him you're too busy. You don't need customers like this. Let him pay twice as much to go to Dick's. Appropriate because he is one.
     
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  16. t0nym4c

    t0nym4c Rookie

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I might actually do this.

    As for restringing for free it kills me to do it, but I don't want people to think I am a bad stringer.
     
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  17. OliverSimon

    OliverSimon Hall of Fame

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    hahahhahhaha I love that explanation
     
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  18. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    I would have flat out refused to string his racquet for free.
    HELLO ITS SYN GUT WITH NO COATING!!!!!
    Pick something more durable if you're a frequent breaker, ignorant one.
     
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  19. Mdubb23

    Mdubb23 Hall of Fame

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    Amen. I can't think of a more rational way of approaching this.
     
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  20. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    i always do a walk through about strings and durability before hand, this includes higher tension customers. I recently had a guy that wanted prince syn. strung at 70lbs because that's what his teammate had.

    As for what i would do, probably the same thing you did, offer a string job for cheaper or for free. At the least offer him a more durable string. My friend swings wildly and mishits a lot...i mean a lotttt... in the end i offered him big ace 16g full setup and guaranteed him one month or else i'd restring for free knowing that the string could take the beating because he's not a consistent hard hitter...just a lot of mishits.

    also to save time i print out a guide for customers so they know the facts before hand and they can make an educated choice.
     
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  21. steve s

    steve s Semi-Pro

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    If he did not bring the racquet back to you before he gave you the bad mouth, tell him to take a hike. It has happen to me.

    You did nothing wrong.
     
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  22. canadave

    canadave Professional

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    The string, or the customer himself? ;)
     
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  23. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Take Lakers4life's advice. Anyone can put string in a racket, but a good stringer is one who can match string/tension to the customer. Ask him what he didn't like about the stringjob (besides the fact that it broke). Get you customer involved in the decision-making. Provide some education. Tell him that maybe, as he is improving, he might need a more durable string. Whenever I make a recommendation to a player, I give a guarantee that if he doesn't like it, I'll replace it with his original string free. In 15,000 rackets or so, I have had to replace 1 set. Of course, if he brings you a racket and says "string it with xyz string at xx pounds", and you didn't ask any questions, you've missed a great opportunity to provide some education and service yourself.
     
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  24. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    haha, both of course ;-)
     
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  25. geese_com

    geese_com Semi-Pro

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    Would it be possible to get a copy of "the guide"? I just started stringing for other people (just did 2 so far) but I would like to provide them with more information. I also think it makes me a better option than big box stores because I can talk them through their string choices.
     
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  26. podge

    podge New User

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    bet it was a mishit
     
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  27. NoNameZ

    NoNameZ Semi-Pro

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    ^^^ i bet it was too.
    @geese_com you can look around on the forums or TWU and pick up some more information about strings, and stringing. diredesire has a whole youtube thing on stringing rackets.
     
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  28. dadozen

    dadozen Hall of Fame

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    If he hasn't brought the racquet to you after breaking the string, then he probably knew that you'd check it for yourself and realize that the string didn't break because of your job.

    Next time, tell him to bring the racquet for inspection, so you can check is the strings are totally notched, if it was a mishit, and all other things.

    But Lakers4life and Steve Huff provided some great advices: what keeps bringing costumers back is, most of the time, how well they were treated. Talk to them, ask them questions, try to discover how they play, what they want and then you can provide them with useful information and match the string with the costumer.

    But, of course, you'll always have some ***** like this guy going to your store once in a while.

    Cheers,
     
    #28

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