Trade Show TalesBlog

All in the Name of Customer Service: Word on the Street — March 16th thru March 20th

March 20th, 2015 1 COMMENT
Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

I am writing this week’s blog topic at the request of a “classic” Classic Distributor from Southern California.

For Every Problem, There’s a Client Request

Have you ever stopped to appreciate what you do for your clients? I know it comes with the territory. We’re sales-driven people with customers who have high, sometimes unreasonable requests. But in the end, they are our customers, and we’ll do what we have to do to make them happy.

Recently, this SoCal Distributor contacted me about a client who purchased a very custom Classic-built 20 ft. inline a couple of years ago. When I say custom, I mean custom! Custom wood siding with several coats of staining to get JUST THE RIGHT COLOR.

The exhibit was beautiful. And it should have been since it cost the equivalent of most 20 x 30 island exhibits.

Custom CountertopBut I digress. So I get a call telling me that this client added a “serving station” which was built in a remote village in Venezuela (I kid you not), and the station was showing severe wear and tear. The client wanted to use the serving station one more time before replacing it. So the question was “How can Classic help?”

After many emails (and lots of options), the client asked us to make it “as close to show ready as possible.” To do that, we had to dissect how the Venezuelans built the piece: What materials and finishes did they use? It sounds simple, but it wasn’t. The top color and finish looked like something Orange County Choppers would design and construct.

The distributor and I met at EXHIBITORLIVE to review options. The idea of acrylic nail polish was a possible solution for the wear marks on the counter top. Sounds crazy, but it made sense. What I didn’t take into account was selecting just the right color nail polish. It meant mixing several colors together for the perfect match.

In Search of Nail Polish

As you might imagine, no one in Production was waiting in line to do this. So a week ago, I went to the store in search of nail polish.

nail polish

First, I was blown away by the variety of nail polish colors, finishes, and types. It made choosing a paint color at a hardware store simple by comparison. And as a man, who refuses to ask for help, I was not about to request assistance from the sales clerks. But as time passed, well over 30 minutes scrutinizing the different options at my fingertips (pun intended), I noticed the ever-growing audience of teeny boppers and blue hairs around the sales counter watching me shuffle 20 plus bottles to identify the perfect color mix.

In the end, a gel base coat was the winner with a shimmer top coat. SHUT UP! I know!

To add insult to injury, the sales clerk remarked, “Oooh, nice choices! For you?” and then giggled.

Well, what little pride I have left was lost in the nail polish section of the store, but in the end, the customer’s problems are our problems, and we do our best to solve them. I know you have similar stories (well, may be not “similar”), so please help a guy out and share yours.

Have a great weekend with your families.





One Response to “All in the Name of Customer Service: Word on the Street — March 16th thru March 20th”

  1. Ruth Scherrer says:

    Hysterical! How brave of you. Elevates “going the extra mile” to a new high. Thanks for sharing — I’ve added nail polish to my solutions toolbox!

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