Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘feedback’

Classic Exhibits Distributor Feedback in 2012

December 21st, 2012 COMMENTS

About two or three times a month, we send “Customer Feedback” emails. On average about 20-30 emails a month, more during February, fewer during July. If you’ve received one, you’ll recognize the subject line:  “Feedback on your recent order | #12345 Sacagawea Portable Hybrid (PM XYZ).”

The request is open-ended, in that it’s not a survey, but a request asking you to tell us what we did right or what we did wrong. When we do something wrong, we try to fix it immediately. When we do something right, we share it.

With the holiday season here, we thought we’d share a few of your positive comments about Classic and our Customer Service team. It’s good for the soul to hear your praise, particularly as one year ends and another begins. Thank you for your feedback, good and bad. It makes us all better.

Feedback on Your Recent Order

1. I just want to let you know that Classic is my preferred vendor. I love the exhibits, the clients are always happy. Bob Beuhl is always, pleasant, helpful and fun! Thank you so much for yet another great experience!

 2. Jeff helped me create an Aero canopy frame based on the dimensions I provided.  A CAD was created for my approval, a simple ‘sign off’ approval was given and your people went to work. We received the item as discussed, with complete set-up instructions and it fits beautifully. Working with Jeff made me realize how difficult Company Z really is to deal with. It’s unusual for us to have a vendor that actually helps and supports us through the project. We always felt like we were bothering the Company Z people. We are extremely happy to be a distributor for Classic Exhibits, top quality products and super customer service. Thank you.

3. It has been a month since that specific order, but as far as I can recall it went rather smoothly. Edie is always on top of the ball and very easy to get a hold of. She is great about returning my e-mails and phone calls promptly. I also really appreciate that if Edie doesn’t know the answer to my question, she is always quick to find out from the resident expert.

4. The job went great…no issues. The client was very happy. Bob did great as usual!

5. Charlie does a good job at responding to my questions and concerns no matter how big or small they might be. I actually like your product and think it makes a good looking booth for how small it can pack down to. Overall you guys have done a great job with my little orders and I look forward to working with Charlie in the future.

6. You guys did a great job on this. I love working with Jeff – he is very responsive, which makes my life way easier. He also rolls with the punches when the client’s ad agency makes last minute changes.

7.  The graphic did, indeed, fit the structure perfectly, although there was some back and forth with Optima about that. I expect the client to be extremely pleased with the unit.  Will send photo of what we did.

8. Charlie has been great to work with on this project and I enjoy working with him. There was an issue with one set of the graphics. It had pen marks on it around the perimeter. I contacted Charlie, but he was out, so Edie and Kevin responded immediately to the problem. They suggested I wash them, which I didn’t really want to do. Instead I learned that dabbing some alcohol on the pen mark, will take it out.

Charlie saw the emails between us regarding the pen marks and immediately followed up with me upon his return. I thought that was nice of him to follow up.

 9. As always we were very pleased with service we received from Edie and Classic. Edie is always helpful, quick with responses and a pleasure to work with. The client was very happy with their new booth. You have an excellent team in place.

10. I don’t have anything specific to say about my most recent job, but I can tell you that I have always received nothing but stellar service from my contacts at Classic. I typically work with Bob Beuhl, but I’ve also worked with Wade West in the past and he has been just as equally attentive and helpful. Sometimes customers can be a real pain, but Bob (and Wade) handled all of my questions and requests with accuracy and were extremely pleasant to work with. Give them raises! 😉

11. Sorry that I can’t give you any specifics other than, “Gee that was easy.” It was a re-order of a previous project that shipped direct to a client show, so I never saw the final piece other than in the photos that Wade sent. Looked good, client is happy, so I am happy!

 12. I wanted to thank both of you, and ask that you extend my thanks to Anne and Wade, for the support we’ve received in the last several quotes. The speed and flexibility we’ve experienced in the estimating process has allowed us to close the orders against some very difficult competition, under some very tight deadlines. Jennifer and Liz are singing your praises.

13. Anne is AWESOME…I love her! Please don’t ever take her away from us!

14. The client was extremely happy with the exhibit property. I was working through an agency, and my contact there was very apprehensive because the show fell during dates that she was out of the country and her client was insistent that they set up themselves – we were both very nervous as the delivery, set up and show opening were all on the same day – no margin for errors. Everything went flawlessly. The client had absolutely no problems figuring out how to set-up the booth themselves – so very user friendly – very happy clients.

15. I enjoy very much working with Anne on projects. She is courteous, patient and knowledgeable. Classic Exhibits and Anne hit the mark on this one. The hardware and graphics arrived on time as promised and she was able to help make our deadline even with a couple changes to the order in the process.

16. I thought Edie was absolutely great!! She was very thorough and helpful and kept her eye on the project all the way through. She is a great asset to your organization.

17. Looks fabulous!! Charlie was awesome as always!

18. Bob and Classic are by far the best! My client loves his booth and has even referred another client that he met at his trade show. Thanks to Classic and Bob, we have another happy client!

In addition, Kevin and I would like to extend our thanks to our Design Team, Mike Swartout and Katina Rigall. Your designs and your work with Classic Distributors make the rest of us look better every single day. And to Production, Accounting, Sales, Purchasing, Web Development, and Customer Service . . . You know you are loved, respected, and admired, even if we don’t say it often enough.

Keep the feedback coming folks. We welcome your comments in 2013 and look forward to an exciting year.

–Mel White and Kevin Carty


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.



Word on the Street — September 26th thru October 1st

October 3rd, 2010 COMMENTS
Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Survey Results and Responses — Part 2 of 2

Once again, thank you for participating in our recent survey. This week, I’d like to share some of the numbers from the survey in addition to answering many of your comments and questions.

Quantitative Data

“How would you rate the response time from Classic Exhibits (compared to competitors)?”

Much Faster 16.0%
Somewhat Faster 33.3%
Comparable 35.6%

“How would you rate the overall customer service from Classic Exhibits (compared to competitors)?”

Much Faster 13.7%
Somewhat Faster 43.6%
Comparable 34.4%

If we weren’t Classic, we would view these numbers as positive since you rated us 85% and 91% Faster or Comparable to our competitors. But given our history of consistently responding faster than our competitors, the 35% Comparable numbers are troubling. I’ll respond specifically to this a little later in the blog since we received a comment on this topic.

“How often do you visit the Classic Exhibits website?”

Several times a week 56.3%
Once a month 28.7%
Once a year 1.1%

These numbers are encouraging and gratifying since we’ve devoted considerable time, effort, and money to our website over the past five years. When you visit our website, you told us you use the following features most often:

  1. Exhibit Design Search
  2. Product Pages
  3. Rental Displays
  4. Trade Show Tales Blog
  5. Past 5 Days
  6. Exhibit Specials

On a follow up question, we asked, “Which features of Exhibit Design Search do you use? Check all that apply.” Again, in order, you said:

  1. Photos
  2. Filter and Sort
  3. Design Details
  4. Additional Images
  5. Email Designs
  6. My Gallery
  7. Product Videos (when available)

Finally, in the response to the question, “How would you rate Classic Exhibits on the following?”, you rated us Excellent or Above Average on these (with the corresponding percentage):

  • Ease of Purchase — 77%
  • Manufacturing Flexibility — 76%
  • Setup Instructions — 82%
  • Cases and Packaging — 85%
  • Product Quality — 86%
  • Exhibit Designs — 84%
  • Distributor Communication — 76%
  • Marketing — 82%

Comments and Responses from the Survey

Classic has long been the fastest at getting quotes, orders, and designs turned around as it relates to the industry as a whole. In the past few months this has slipped a little. Why?

Answer — Let me start off by saying that this is not something that we like to hear. However, it is also a reality, and it is by no means the fault of any one PM or Designer. Rather, it is quite simply due to market conditions. We (Classic) do not have as many people working in those departments as we did two years ago. And that is not an excuse, but from a transparency standpoint, we want to be honest with you.

Our PM’s and Designers are doing as many quotes and designs as always, but the orders are smaller than they were 24 months ago. Therefore, you have fewer people trying to do more. Having said that, we need to set more reasonable expectations on turnaround times. Over promising and under delivering is never a good thing. We realize that. And as a management team, we are addressing it.

Can your Design Team and Project Management Team communicate better at the “hand-off” stage? Meaning when a design is sent to Project Management for quoting?

Answer — While this was not an overriding theme in your survey responses, it was mentioned and deserves a response. Communication has been a consistent theme at Classic over the past four years, both internally and externally. Hearing that we are failing with some of our distributors is troublesome. Some of it may be a direct reflection of asking fewer people to do more. I know that occasionally causes people to cut corners to meet existing time expectations. However, when proper communication does not happen, it causes us to go back and forth more often which lengthens the turnaround time. I promise you that we are working on this, and we will get better.

Can you include Distributor News and Updates in Design Monday along with new designs?

Answer — Yes. And to some extent we already do. Several years ago, we discontinued our monthly newsletter because we felt we were inundating you with email broadcasts. Instead, we shifted those routine updates on products, services, and specials to periodic emails, Design Monday (via “Word on the Street”) and postings in the Trade Show Tales Blog. Please let us know if you would like us to resume the monthly newsletter. In the newsletter, we would be very happy to discuss Classic updates as well as information in your world — whether it is new hires, current projects that you wish to share, or other pertinent news as it relates to the industry within your local markets.

Classic needs to do a better job of Customer Appreciation and Acknowledgment.

Answer — Ouch! That really hurts. While I feel like we do a good job of this “on the fly,” for the most part, I do agree that we need to do this more publicly. And more often. Our management team will make this a focus moving forward. You are our lifeblood. No one can deny that, and I am sorry if we have not done a good job of acknowledging that daily, monthly and quarterly.

ClassicMODUL is great. The variety of extrusions and accessories are unmatched. Why do you not promote the variety more in your Classic Exhibits designs and broadcasts?

Answer — At first I thought this comment may have come from Tom Jones, who manages our ClassicMODUL division. 😉 But it didn’t. I spent a lot of time thinking about this. In looking through past Design Mondays and other e-broadcasts that the Classic Exhibits division has sent over the past several months, it is clear that while we use a variety of extrusions and accessories in our broadcasts, we do not always “highlight” them. Recently, we have been promoting the TSP profiles which hold Silicone Edge Graphics, but we do need to do a better job of describing the extrusions in particular designs so that you gain a deeper and better sense of what is available from Classic and ClassicMODUL. Great suggestion. Thanks!

In conclusion, we have work to do and some issues to resolve. Thank you for your feedback, and we sincerely appreciate your constructive criticism.

And thank you for the many, many kudos we received as well in the survey (which we elected not to share). I am not going to lie, hearing that “Classic Rocks!,” that the “Customer Service Team is Wonderful” and that you appreciate coming to work each day knowing that you get to “Work with friends,” makes me not just happy, but exceptionally proud of our team.

Thanks again!

–Kevin Carty