Why do gunsmiths/manufacturers seem to have such poor customer service?

awildswanger

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Extremely positive experience with Aaron Roberts at Roberts Precision Rifle in Houston, would recommend him and only him
 
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Newtosavage

Newtosavage

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I called Rifle Basix this morning, and got a very polite, professional and knowledgeable person (Jeff) on the phone. They didn't have what I needed but he was very helpful. And did I mention polite? :D

Good to hear about the good ones out there.
 

wind gypsy

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My take is that gunsmiths make money by building guns. All you have to do is read through the mounds of meaningless crap we pick apart and discuss in these threads and take that into consideration when thinking about why gunsmiths are short with people.

It’s hard to make money building guns when you spend all day talking through meaningless details with people who don’t know shit. The shorter they are, the more rabbit holes they can avoid, the more work gets done, the shorter their lead times, the more money gets made. I feel for em, it’s probably very difficult trying to find the line between customer service and getting work done.

I’m half hesitant these days to discuss the names of current preferred smiths on forums. Hate for them to become like many others who have been spread across forums and now can’t come close to their quoted build times.
 
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Newtosavage

Newtosavage

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My take is that gunsmiths make money by building guns. All you have to do is read through the mounds of meaningless crap we pick apart and discuss in these threads and take that into consideration when thinking about why gunsmiths are short with people.

It’s hard to make money building guns when you spend all day talking through meaningless details with people who don’t know shit. The shorter they are, the more rabbit holes they can avoid, the more work gets done, the shorter their lead times, the more money gets made. I feel for em, it’s probably very difficult trying to find the line between customer service and getting work done.

I’m half hesitant these days to discuss the names of current preferred smiths on forums. Hate for them to become like many others who have been spread across forums and now can’t come close to their quoted build times.
I guess you could say that about any business/customer relationship though. I mean, why would a baker put up with all the requests for wedding cake decorations if they know so much more than the customer?

I've known a number of custom bowyers who are also very short with people and have terrible CS. And what you described happened in the custom traditional bow business in the 90's - the good ones got swamped once the internet came around and it became public knowledge who they were. They couldn't keep up with orders. The good ones stopped taking orders until they caught up, closed their storefronts and put notices on their websites, and some hired more staff and expanded their business. But they communicated well through the whole process. The bad ones just dropped off the radar, didn't communicate well and many went out of business.

I think part of it is a by-product of people who work with their hands just not being interested (usually) in dealing with customers. It's a rare one that is.
 

Gatorgrizz27

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As has been said, it’s hard to make any money and get projects out the door when you’re on the phone.

Yes, you can hire someone to answer questions like “how much does it cost to thread a barrel or bed an action?”, but you can’t have a high school kid or your wife talking extreme details, they just don’t have the knowledge.

It may come across as arrogant, but if you have all the work you can handle while setting your own prices me only picking the jobs you want to do, what’s the motivation to be “better”?
 
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