Q: Can you help source something specific for a customer?
A: Yes absolutely, here is an example. A printer contacted us wanting a special type of keyring - a spring gated keyring of a specific size which he couldn't find in New Zealand. He provided all the details along with an image, and we emailed these to our buyer in Hong Kong who was able to find the stock and uplift just 200 pieces as well as add them to a consolidation he was doing at the time. We had the stock delivered to our customer within two weeks! He was very happy and has been a return customer since then.
Q: Are you able to deal with urgent orders in a timely manner?
A: Yes! A leather fabricator contacted us because he needed wire rectangles of specific wire diameter and internal dimensions, and none of our stock lines were quite right. We sent the details to our buyer in Hong Kong, who was able to once again pick up about 300 pieces and we had them delivered to the customer within 3 weeks (which of course made him a very happy man!).
Q: Can you provide a particular quality of product if requested?
A: You bet! A clothing accessory manufacturer approached us for a high quality polished nickel eyelet required for a special job for one of their customers in an especially quick time. Quality and appearance were top importance! We had no samples but we did have a concept. We explained the concept and suggested measurements to our buyer, who rose to the challenge and quickly sent some images back to us which we passed onto the customer for feedback. They were pleased with the design, but it would depend on how quickly we could get the units delivered. Our buyer managed to secure a very reasonable quantity (250 each of two sizes), consolidated them into an airfreight consignment and delivered then within the required timeframe. One very happy customer of ours, and a very impressed customer of theirs also!
Q: Have you ever satisfied a customer through being the best price point?
A: Yes - a regular customer in the plastic fabricating business approached us for a price to supply a small black plastic snap hook for an ongoing job they do on an annual basis (this product was already one of our stock lines). We did our sums, and came up with a price which shaved about 5 cents off what they had been paying another company. We now make sure we have stocks of this item so we can jump whenever they need it! And we've been able to buy better on account of it, so everyone is happy!
Q: Are you able to deal with transactions where a huge quantity is ordered?
A: Absolutely! A customer contacted us one day asking whether we could source 50,000 NP eyelets and washer sets. We immediately contacted our agent who looks after eyelets out of Australia, and he had them airfreighted in with another lot of goods. We were able to deliver the goods to the customer within the required timeframe, making everyone happy!
Q: How do you deal with customer returns when they order the wrong product?
A: We understand that in life, people sometimes make mistakes. We had a regular customer order the wrong size eyelet (we had brought these in especially for them as it was a colour that we don't usually stock!). They were so apologetic about the mistake and took full responsibility for the error, so we took them back and credited him for everything except the land freight. We then made arrangements for the CORRECT size eyelet for the customer, which took a few days, but he was extremely grateful for us helping him out. Plus, we had some interest in the unusual colour stock not long after that!
Q: How do you deal with it when YOU make the mistake and deliver the incorrect item to a customer?
A: We make mistakes too - we have sent the wrong size, wrong colour and sometimes the wrong product! If a customer phones and complains, we check over to see where the mistake happened, apologise of course, and promise to send them the correct items by courier that same day. We also send them a courier satchel to return the wrong items to us, and promise to behave better the next time they place an order! And it always works, they forgive us for the mistake and love us for the way we address it. We even joke with them about it the next time they call us just to show that we haven't forgotten our mistake!
Q: Are you able to provide customised items for a customer to meet their exact specifications?
A: Absolutely, we try to take care of our customers wherever we can! We receive numerous calls from customers wanting specialised or ancient articles, or with odd things that people don't know how to do/what to do with. For example - having a 27mm thick bunch of documents that they need to screw together. We know the products available and what they do so it is easy to provide the best solution to the customer. It often takes time, but we try to look after everybody! If they want to get something cast or manufactured, we ask them if they are prepared to pay $5-$100 for the first one. If they are, we put them in touch with someone we know, but if they want 100 of them, we'll take the details and initiate it ourselves, get them prices and handle the whole order.
Q: Do you offer advice to potential customers before they make a purchase?
A: Yes of course we do. Newcomers to the leather and garment trades often phone and ask for advice on how to do things, so we'll put them in touch with someone who can help. Or, if they want to do it themselves, we'll set them up with the right gear for the job and make sure they know how to do everything. We often receive calls from people who have heard how helpful we are, it's so helpful in spreading the word about our business.
Q : How do you deal with customers who have a fear or a lack of trust when it comes to buying products online?
A: We often have people phoning and enquiring about ordering online and we always encourage them to do so. It's easy to make a mistake when placing an order over the phone, whereas when it's done through the website, it can easily be checked over and adjusted before being sent (not to mention being very easy for us to read, fulfill and track from this side too!). We actively encourage our customers to order their products online, but they are of course always welcome to ring us if they have any problems.