Saturday, July 20, 2013

How refreshing - a Delta Machinery employee going above and beyond the call of duty for a customer!

It's not very often that you want to hug a perfect stranger, but wow - I "met" a fellow who works for Delta tools who made me feel exactly that way. 

Any time you have 30 or 40 people a month working with your tools, there are bound to be times when things break. It just happens, and for the most part - it's just a part of life in the woodshop. Blades dull, bearings seize, tops rust, belts break... it's just a part of life. 

So when the Delta Midi-lathe that I bought about three years ago developed a problem - I sighed with relief, realizing that it was still under warranty. 

A few of us diagnosed the problem - the speed control module was kaput, and I called the repair hotline to find my nearest Delta service center.

Now I deal with tool companies all the time. Some are absolutely fantastic - like SawStop's tech department.

A call to Delta gave me the name of the local repair shop, and Scott, my friendly repair man took the tool with some reservations. He told me that Delta has been undergoing some changes, and parts are hard to find. That's a whole other story, but suffice it to say that there wasn't a speed controller to be found in the whole country. 

After about five weeks of Scott's updates that parts were unavailable, I pulled out the "WWJD" manual - what would Jamie do? I decided it was time to bypass corporate bullshit and try to find a Delta supervisor who might be able to help me. 

That's where the urge to hug a perfect stranger popped up. 

 It took a few phone calls to locate the right person, but after I explained my predicament to a customer service rep, she put me in touch with Bob, a supervisor who had the power to help. (I'm not including his last name, in case there is a chance that he could get into hot water for helping me out like this.)

Bob couldn't have been nicer, in fact - he was a fan of lathe work, having done it as a hobby for years. And he explained the parts lockdown that Delta was going through. But he offered some hope to me - saying that he was going to roll up his sleeves and go digging around the Delta warehouse until he found a replacement  control module for me. 

He'd promised that the module would be on its way the next day, but when he went to dig for it, he found the warehouse closed for the weekend. The Fourth of July holiday put a hold on his snooping on the warehouse. I spent the weekend wondering if he was going to come through - would he remember his promise?

And sure enough, the next week, he sent me a message about a package heading my way. 

Be still, my heart.

Not only did the package arrive as promised, but Bob sent two of them. (These came from machines returned to the warehouse for one reason or another. Sending two of them made sense - he wanted to be sure I would have a module that worked.)

My machine came back from the repair shop partially disassembled,

and the inside of the control module was a jumble of wires.

Some people can take one look at this mess and know right where every wire is supposed to be connected. Not me. I've repaired tools before and royally screwed them up, so I've learned to take pictures and notes of how things should be reassembled. 

Luckily, even though the new module was slightly different, the wire connections were exactly the same. 

It took about a thirty minutes to button everything back together - and WHAM! - the lathe was working like new! 

In this day and age, where everything is run by the book, and things are so tightly managed, it is refreshing to "meet" someone like Bob, willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help a customer. Like I mentioned earlier - I didn't want to mention his name, in the off chance that he could get into hot water for solving this problem in a unique way. But if you need a compassionate Delta contact for a problem you're having, let me know and I'll get you in touch with him.

But I'll tell you what I think - he should be commended and rewarded for going out of his way. Companies should empower their employees to solve problems on their own, it cuts through red tape and earns them a customer for life. (My own hometown company - Zappos does this with their customer service reps and it's a very successful management strategy.)

I don't often meet people like Bob - helpful and willing to cut through red tape to give great customer service. But I'm thankful I did. Nice job Delta - he's is a huge asset to your team.

1 comment:

Arek83 said...

It's good to hear this. I e-mail Delta today asking about country of origin for their uni-saw because I am looking into buying one.
They replied with one word "taiwan" I was very dissapointed. The time where a future customer wants only information I get only one word? What type of help would I get if I need help?
I am not getting Delta and will get either Grizzly or SawStop.