Pictured (LtoR): Sue Piedmont, Director of Customer Service, Sally Schinsing, Kevin Snyder, Beth McClung, Angel VanDruff, Cameron Simmons, Kim Yaddow, Chuck Manfre
“Good Enough – Never is!”, that’s the motto of Sue Piedmont, Customer Service Manager at Crosman Corporation.
Sue is in charge of Crosman’s Customer Service / Tech Support (or CSR) Team consisting of 7 people. On an average day, they answer 400 phone calls, reply to 100 emails and process 35 pieces of mail. What makes Sue and her team unique is that they go out of their way in customer support.
When a Crosman CSR is contacted, they have several tools at their disposal. A Customer Service Application creates a unique ticket – which captures customer info (name, address, phone, email, order history, email history) for future reference. In addition they have the capability of running reports specific to model number and the nature of customer inquiry. They also have access to Product / Parts Support Electronic Spreadsheets and the Bluebook of Airguns. To help access all this information, their computers are equipped with dual monitors.
We noticed during a tour of the Crosman facility, that actual airguns are available to the CSR’s. Having the physical airguns handy to trouble-shoot customer issues and questions, also helps expedite a solutions by handling the particular model the customer is asking about.
What really aids the Crosman CSR in their job is their average of 7.5 years (including Sue Piedmont’s service) of service at Crosman. One CSR, Jan Delong, retired in March 2012 after 34 years of service at Crosman.
Before becoming a CSR, many of them have held other positions at Crosman such as Factory Material Handler, Sales Support, and the Factory Assembly Line. This type of hands-on experience really helps them excel in customer service as they have already handled or even built the models that customers contact them about.
To keep the CSR’s up to date; Crosman trains them in a way that would be fun for most of us. The CSR’s get to try out new products on Crosman’s shooting range, there are Show & Tell sessions from a team of Product managers, and also factory line training.
Those types of tools listed above are especially useful during the Christmas season, when the incoming calls average 750 to 800 per day.
An important note about the longevity of the CSR at Crosman can be summed up in this quote from Sue Piedmont, “Agent turnover is the bane of call centers. Studies show that the average call center CSR (customer support representative) lasts about six months while call centers have a 40 percent average annual turnover rate. As you can see, my team’s average years of service in the department is 7.5 years. This speaks to the teamwork and mutual respect they hold for each other and the company….it also gives me as the Director of the team a sense of pride for having created the environment for them to grow, succeed and stay.”
Being an airgun repair station, we’ve heard many customer comments about support from various airgun manufacturers and Crosman support has gotten high marks year after year.
One such instance was from a man who was days outside the warranty period on his airgun and was needing it repaired. I contacted Crosman to see if they could help him and cover it under warranty. The CSR instructed him to ship the airgun back to Crosman for repair. A few weeks later he contacted me to say that Crosman had replaced his airgun and was very happy with the way the problem was resolved, and that Crosman had gone above and beyond his expectations. What makes this conversation memorable is that he said in a world where people are quick to complain, he wanted to make sure that compliments are also given to those who excel at what they do. That’s just one example of compliments we’ve heard first hand.
The knowledge of Crosman’s CSR’s is impressive. As an example, a customer contacted us to repair his Crosman 454 after talking to a Crosman CSR. The man stated that while disassembling his 454 a small part went flying out. The CSR immediately understood his issue. The impressive part is that the Crosman 454 has not been manufactured since 1982.
We do hear that people wish the Crosman CSR knew exactly what the customer needs to reseal their airgun. On the surface, their request does not seem unreasonable. However, let’s take the Crosman 760 for example. There have been many variations since the 760 first came out in 1966. For parts availability, many of the parts for the original self cocking valve are now obsolete and not sold by Crosman. Also, opinions differ on what reseal means. That could range from replacing just the worn parts to replacing every component of the valve system.
Recently we had a customer who had broken the trigger guard on his Benjamin Marauder and was looking for a replacement. Since there is not a part number for the trigger guard, as it is included with the stock, we emailed Crosman and asked Kim Yaddow if we could order one for our customer. Kim said that the trigger guard does not have a part number, one could not be ordered individually, but she would see what she could do. A little later we received a reply from Kim saying “I put one in the mail for you. Should have it soon.” We imagine that she was able to go out on the shop floor and was able to get a trigger guard from the assembly line to send to us to help a Crosman airgun owner. That’s the kind of customer support that’s only dreamed about these days.
Our replies from the Crosman Customer Service / Tech Support group over the years have been professional, courteous, friendly, quick, and accurate. There’s not a feeling that they are reading a script in attempting to provide solutions or answer a question.
In a world where most customer support is “A job, well, done.” The support from the Crosman CSR team is “A job well done!”