Saturday, January 28, 2012

Customer Service part 958

Yes, I know, I complain about Customer Service a lot on here.

But seriously, I think it is one of the most important parts of running a business...if not THE most important part!

I am having some major problems with my embroidery machine (and the story behind THAT could be several posts on customer service, but I am not ready to go there!).  So, I have been looking at a new one.

Since I have very little liquid cash, and not so great credit, I have limited options on where to buy.  There is a shopping channel that allows you to get the item with a 4 or 5 payment plan and they don't charge interest.  (which means we know that the price is a bit more than a brick and mortar store would charge, so they throw in a few extras to make it worth it)

I saw the exact machine I wanted.  Larger hoop, and a few more bells and whistles.  But I had zero in the bank account.  I put it in my shopping cart and hoped it would be there in the morning so I could order it.

...of course, it was sold out by the next morning.

I researched all day trying to find another model that I could be happy with, but there was some missing information in the item size of hoops.  It listed a large and a small.  I really needed to know what the size on the large was...since some 5x7 were called large, and others called the 6x10 large.  (same manufacturer)

I sent a nice brief (which I know is hard for me to do!) email asking 1- when the machine I wanted was expected to be back in stock, and 2- what the actual hoop size was on the second machine I was considering.

In there defense, they did respond to me within 12 hours....more like 8.

Here it is:

Hello Ms. Morris,

You ask some great questions about our sewing machine products. From personal experience, a sewing machine can be a great investment.

To answer your first question, at this time, I do not have any information available as to when it will be back in stock. I would suggest checking _____ at your convenience for the latest up to date information.

To answer your second question, regrettably, I do not have the information available for the size of the hoop. I would suggest calling Singer customer service at ______;  M-F 8am to 4pm CST regarding model number: SES1000 and I am sure they will be happy to answer that question.

I truly appreciate your understanding in this matter and  hope you allow us another opportunity to serve you in the future.



See...they DID respond to me!  They just didn't really answer any of my questions!  Now, I get to start the research all over again!  If only I had some extra spending money laying around.  I would just go to someplace local and buy the machine I wanted and be done with it!


Monday, January 23, 2012

January review

As this month is starting to wind down I thought I would take a few minutes to think about how my month has gone wise.

I set several goals for myself this month.  I am happy to report that I actually came pretty close to meeting some of them, not so close on others.

I had a goal of 12 marketing projects (small projects that I won't go into here, but they involved making and then mailing them out to prospective customers.  I actually finished and mailed only 3 of them.

I had a goal of finishing 8 personal Disney shirts.  I actually finished only 6 of them.

I had a goal of making 4 ready to ship dresses and I only finished 2 of them.

I had a goal of making 4 onesies to list on my Etsy shop and I finished zero of them.

I had a goal of making a baby quilt, three onesies, and three burp cloths for a gift and I am glad to report they were actually finished before the baby arrived.

I had a goal of completing a birthday gift for my daughter in law, and I ham happy to report that I finished it so quickly that I had to remember where I put it when it was time to gift it!

In addition to those goals, I also managed to get one customer gift of 8 napkins  monogrammed and almost complete another customer order of two onesies and two bibs.

Although my most important goal for the outfits was to try to only use fabric I had on hand!  That one was met with a resounding success!

Since to day is only Monday and I still have a week to go, I am pretty sure I will be able to finish the customer order; finish the two personal Disney shirts; and I am pretty sure I will be able to complete at least 3 more of my marketing projects.

All in all it has not been too bad of a month.  In my original plans, I had not taken into account that the kids would be out of school for about a week of the month.  The kids will be out of school for two weeks next month, (winter intersession) so I will make my plans and goals for the month keeping that in mind.

Sometime in the next week or so I plan on having my daughter in law take some pictures of the outfits I did manage to complete, as well as a couple outfits I have not sold from last Spring.  (provided we get a bit of pretty weather this week!) My plan is to have a Spring grand re-opening of my Etsy site.

I do think it is important to note...I managed to meet my goals only spending an average of two hours a day in the studio.  I was expecting to spend closer to 4 to 6 hours a day in the studio; five days a week.  I am pretty excited about how close I came without spending a lot of time in the studio.  Just imagine how well I could do if I just added 30 minutes or an hour!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Confession time!

My last three quilts have turned out less than spectacular.  Add to that one customer quilt that was really bad and you see a pattern developing.  I don't think I have had a single quilt after the surgery that has looked nice.  (Forget good or great!)

I now have three outstanding baby quilts for gifts coming up in the next few weeks and I think you see my problem.  I am seriously having doubts about my ability to turn out a reasonable gift!

I have some gorgeous fat quarters washed and ready to go down to the studio to become a beautiful baby boy quilt for my niece's new baby.  The fabric is perfect.  It is going to be a small turning twenty quilt.  I am going to make a few onesies and burpies to go with it.  I can see it in my mind as a perfect set.  I'm seriously wondering if the actual gift will be any where near what I envision.

When the actual quilting starts, I will have to take careful mental notes to see what I am doing wrong (or right) and see what I can physically do to make a change.  I refuse to believe I can never do another decent quilt.  I'm hoping it is just that I am seriously out of practice.  Time will tell.