Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Musician’s Friend Rocks With Great Customer Service

Posted by Becky Carroll on January 3, 2008

cymbals.jpg Just before Christmas, I placed an order on behalf of my son for a new set of cymbals for his drumset.  These were much anticipated cymbals, as he was paying for them with money he earned himself.  We went to Musicians Friend, a great website for musical instruments, and ordered the cymbals.  Since we were getting ready to leave for the holidays and my son was quite anxious to get them in time to play them, we ordered the cymbals for overnight delivery.

On the day they should have arrived, my son was anxiously waiting near the door.  The time of arrival passed.  The cymbal stand arrived, but no cymbals.  I called Musicians Friend and spoke with a customer service agent who told me they should arrive by the afternoon.  Later that day, still no cymbals.  Calling Musicians Friend again, they gave me the package tracking number so I could see where the cymbals were.  Turns out they were still in Missouri (I am in California)!  They hadn’t been picked up by the shipping company.

Frustrated, I called Musicians Friend again.  This time, I was connected to a wonderful agent named Brit.  Brit went above and beyond for us.  He spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what could have happened.  He called the shipping company 3 or 4 times in a row but kept getting disconnected (I always wondered if that only happened to consumers or if it happened to merchants, too!).   He refunded me my shipping charges as I didn’t get the product when promised.

We had now been on the phone together for about 30 minutes.   As I understand that many call center agents are measured on talk time, I thanked him for taking the time with me to resolve the problem.  I asked him if he would get in trouble for taking so long!  He turned around and asked his supervisor that question; the answer was no – we only use call time stats when we are looking at potential raises. 

I then told him about, a database which tells you how to get through to a live person for assistance (which was what we needed right now).  He tried their strategy, and it worked (in this case, it was to keep repeating the word “representative”).  He finally got into the queue for the shipping company.  Afraid he would lose me, he conferenced me in to the hold queue so I could hear the conversation.  Completely silent, I listened as Brit went to bat for me.  He was very professional and made it clear he had a very dissatisfied customer who paid for overnight shipping and didn’t get it.  The next day was Saturday, and Brit didn’t hesitate to offer to pay for Saturday shipping fees so we could get our cymbals.

Brit did his best for us, and I was very happy that he went out of his way and took the time to try and make a bad situation good.  He spent nearly one hour on the phone on our behalf.  He was positive and cheerful throughout.  We actually had a great conversation!

Thank you, Brit, for making this experience better.  Plus, thanks also for your help, as we did get the cymbals on Saturday, and I have not seen my son that happy in ages.

Customers Rock! for Musician’s Friend.  Thanks you guys!

(Photo credit: stephconne)


14 Responses to “Musician’s Friend Rocks With Great Customer Service”

  1. […] Becky Carroll of CustomersRock! also shares her customer experience with Musicians Friend. Becky narrates how Musicians Friend went to the root of a failed overnight delivery of a drum set for her son, and made everything all right again. Her son got his drums and happy with them. Read Becky’s story. […]

  2. Marc said

    Great article.

    Your readers might want to try a leading customer service review website where people share reviews with other users and with companies. Companies that are involved with and value customer service read Measuredup to keep up on what people are saying and to be able to improve customer service.

    It is free and easy to use.

  3. Five For Friday

    Here are a few great contact center & customer service links for the close of the first week of 2008

  4. Brandon said

    It is very interesting how the first two agents did not take control of the situation and instead chose the passive route (here’s your tracking number, etc., etc.). Sadly, this is the case for many interactions.

    However, once Brit entered the scene, things changed. We need more Brits. I will be sharing this story with my team next week. Brit is a rock star of customer service. Brit! Brit! Brit!

    Oh yes, and…Happy New Year, Becky!

  5. Hey Becky, Great example of how to do it right. Musician’s Friend is owned by Guitar Center and I also purchased some drum gear for Christmas. I went to the store with a 20% of coupon on Black Friday. It was good until noon, but the set I wanted was not in stock. I called the call center later in the afternoon and asked if they would honor the coupon even though it was after noon in my time zone. The said “No Problem” and gave me the deal. Music Instrument retail is a relatively high margin business, so that allows them to be more flexible in pricing, but they are also doing business in a highly fragmented industry, still dominated by mom & pop stores where customer experience is everything. I suspect that both are key components of their customer experience recipe.

  6. brit said

    hello becky! i’m glad that your son got his cymbal pack. i had that weekend off, but i had written down your order number and checked back when i came in on xmas eve. i was very pleased when i tracked the package and found that it had been delivered and signed for by you! i hope you guys had a great time in hawaii and it was a pleasure serving you.

  7. Marc, thanks for sharing about MeasuredUp. You have mentioned it before on the blog, and it is a good resource. Thanks again!

    Brandon, you are right – this is a case of passive vs active support from a company. Doing the right thing may be passive support, but in this case, intervention was needed. Brit supplied that for us! Oh, and Happy New Year to you, too!!

    Doug, thanks for the info on Musician’s Friend and Guitar Center. I didn’t realize they were connected. The mom and pop music shop experience can be good or lousy, depending on the store. Our local shop, where my kids take lessons, is OK but not spectacular. We have had much better service through Musician’s Friend (and much better prices!). Rock on, Doug!

    Brit, thanks so much for coming out to the blog to leave your comment! Yes, we had a great time in Hawaii, and my son couldn’t wait to get home to play his drums and new cymbals. You really made his Christmas great. Thanks again, Brit. You totally rock!! 🙂 (PS – I tried to send an email to your supervisor with the address you gave me before Christmas, but it keeps bouncing back. Please email me (becky at petraconsultinggroup dot com) and I will send it on to him so you get kudos for the great job!)

  8. Becky,

    That’s a great story–one that renews one’s faith in customer service! We’ve always received great service from Musician’s Friend as well. (There are several musicians in my family!)

    No matter how good a company may be, there will always be times when something will go wrong; it’s what the company does at those times to remedy the problem that shows exactly what it’s made of!


  9. Jeanne, thanks for adding to the conversation (and great to meet another music lover/musician!). I agree that it is at the “pressure points” where a company’s response is most memorable. No company is perfect, as you point out, but they should all have a planned response for what happens when things go wrong – and what they will do to take care of the customer.

    Rock on, Jeanne! 🙂

  10. guitar-man23 said

    good tech support but not good enough, horrible info on products!!!! i have to wait 30 days cause i have not got my package cause i did not know they sent it through USPS! i thought it would be UPS, im not going to order from them anymore cause there info on there items are horrible, i even bought a guitar from them, eernie ball steve morse guitar, the color picture they show is not what you get! you may as well go shot at AMS Americas Musicians Supply witch im going to do! im going to send musicians friend package back cause im really upset now! and going to buy from better pros that know how to make musicians have a good shopping experience! I think im done here!

  11. Thanks for adding in your experience.

  12. Cara said

    I just paid what was a lot of money (to me, anyway) for an instrument to be
    sent to my daughter for Valentine’s Day. I ordered it from Musician’s
    Friend. I paid extra for expedited shipping. I AM SO ANGRY!

    Musician’s Friend:

    1. Sent the package via USPS parcel post (the cheapest, slowest service possible) rather than FED EX Second Day Air.
    2. Sent it to the WRONG PERSON (using my name rather than my daughter’s) (And will the mail room at my daughter’s dorm figure that out? Fat Chance!)
    3. Gave me an invalid tracking number, apparently just making one up.
    4. When I asked about the invalid tracking number, said that USPS sometimes just “recycles” tracking numbers.
    5. Said that maybe they will give me a refund IF I SEND THE PACKAGE BACK. But I don’t have the package!
    6. Certainly the opportunity for the once-in-a-lifetime little Valentine’s Day surprise is over forever.

    Be careful when using Musician’s Friend. Or find an honest, reliable company.

  13. Cara, sorry you had such a poor experience. Shows how even companies who have generally good service can be inconsistent – and I have always said that consistency of experience is very important! It was my third customer service agent at Musician’s Friend, Brit, that went out of his way to help me.

    Companies, beware – even if you have great service most of the time, only one or two poor experiences can blow it for your customers, and potentially for your reputation.

  14. Rene Gram said

    Very informative text. I’ve found your blog via Bing and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your blogs layout is really broken on the Kmelon browser. Would be really great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

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