I have a friend who has set out on an interesting DIY journey. It all began with the search for the perfect Halloween costume. He’s a big fan of TRON and was stoked to find an amazing leather, fully functional, Disney certified, Tron motorcycle suit. It was a big commitment financially, but he really wanted it. This is a guy that can justify paying for shoes that cost more than some peoples entire wardrobe. So it was on.
He’s a tall guy and had a few simple questions about the sizing, especially since it had body armor and that might change the dimensions. Sounds fair enough right?
Well this is when it gets nuts.
He’s on the phone with the actual business owner and suit maker, and without provocation, was really nasty to my friend. Answering questions with snark and condescension and just generally rude and ungrateful that someone is really keen about his very expensive suit. Suffice to say this took all the wind out of my friends sail. Or maybe I should say sale, because he decided he didn’t want to give this guy his money.
After talking with his artistic and design savvy Mom & Dad… they decided to make it a family project. Next thing you know they are measuring for custom gloves, buying a vacuum former, polystyrene for molding and workshopping ideas. It’s bringing them together as family, and he so excited that he will have his own outfit that’s unique to his body that he can barely sleep!
So this story has a happy ending but it’s interesting to see what bad customer service can do to a sale. It’s also worth noting an article I found about Gen Y’s being really into DIY:
“This struggle to be unique has reinvigorated the do-it-yourself (DIY) trend, currently more popular among females than males. Subramanyam met a girl who would buy designer jeans only to cut them up to make them her own. She advises marketers to look at how consumers are interacting not just with brands, but with the products themselves, and to provide the tools and materials to facilitate it—perhaps by cross-selling consumers a prepackaged kit of jewels or design patterns.”
iBuiltit wave is about people adapting through need or desire. The Human Truth is: “If you wont find a way, I/we will.” And that’s exactly what happened with my friend this Halloween. Being rude to a customer just because you think your product is so irreplaceable is not only arrogant but stupid, because there’s a lot of creative people out there who might end up doing a better job themselves.