Monthly Archives: September 2010

4 A Customer Service Tale of Two Companies (One doesn’t suck)

I’m writing a review of two companies and their products –  Concept2 Rowing and MacSpeech. One makes me wildly ecstatic and the other wildly frustrated.  One is awesome, one sucks.  Let me start with Concept2.

Concept2 Rowing

This is one of my all time favorite companies in the world.  Their product is solid!  I purchased my rower used off a craigslist ad and have been impressed with it from the beginning.  I’ve worked out with a couple of other brands and they just don’t feel as, I don’t know, dependable.  Every time I get on it it works – smoothly.  I’m not a big maintenance guy and it still works – smoothly.  I live in Hawaii near the beach where everything rusts and this rower still works – smoothly.  What else could you ask for?  How about exceptional customer service?

I’m using the Model C.  They’re up to the E model now.  When I first bought my rower I decided to upgrade the computer to better track my crossfit workouts (Why else would I get a rower but for “Fight Gone Bad??”).  I contacted the company through their website, found my product and, BAM!  they’ve got it out the door and on it’s way.  Over the years I’ve had to replace the battery, a wire and a couple of obscure nuts and bolts.  In EVERY case, the communication with Concept2 was fast, helpful and positive.  In fact, in one instance, where I was missing one screw I lost somewhere in my garage, Concept2 just sent me a pack of them – for FREE!

I’ve never been to a retail establishment (do they have one?) but in every on-line and on-phone interaction have been impressed with their organization. In all my “moment of truth” encounters they’ve left me smiling and satisfied.

I love this company!  I wish I could buy more things from them.  Maybe another rower?  Certainly not to replace the one I have because it’s still going strong but maybe to get another as we expand our workouts.  They really are that good. They definitely do NOT suck.

Let’s turn the page now and look at Macspeech. Continue reading

4 Are You a Perfect Listener? It depends!

What does it take to be a PERFECT LISTENER?? I found this listening test a few years back.  It’s from a John Maxwell book on leadership (bonus points for whoever can tell me which one of the 5000 books he’s written it’s from!) and I’ve been talking about it in workshops and seminars for a long time now. The thing is I’m just not sure anymore if I really like the test or if I still want to use it.

Try this test first, see what you score and let’s talk about it.

Always= 4 points Usually= 3 points Rarely= 2 points Never=1 point

1. Do I allow the speaker to finish without interrupting?   _________

2. Do I listen “between the lines”; that is, for the subtext?  _________

3. Do I repeat what the person just said to clarify the meaning?   _________

4. Do I avoid getting hostile and/or agitated when I disagree with the speaker?   _________

5. Do I tune out distractions when listening?   _________

6. Do I make an effort to seem interested in what the other person is saying?     _________


Got it? Good.  Now, if your score is more than 24 you’ve scored excellently on this test but your math skills aren’t all that ;).  A perfect score is, of course, a 24, which requires that you answered “always” to each of the 6 questions presented.  Now, this is obviously not some deep, heavily researched test that’s been normed across multiple groups with large sample sizes. But still, any “test” is supposed to provide some measure of understanding, skills, or knowledge acquired.

Does a perfect score on this test mean that you really are a perfect listener?  Let’s look at some of these questions and find out. Continue reading