May 172012

Looking for that bile soaked post I wrote a little while back?  Ya know, the one where I didn’t get the kayak of my dreams?  Well you won’t find it here.

You see I believe in giving people and companies a chance to make things right.  Call me a sappy fool but let’s face it, this world needs more forgiveness.

A few weeks back another blogger and I attempted to purchase two Emotion Mojo Angler Kayaks from Cabela’s.  There was an amazing deal ($150 off) and we were both in the market for a sit on top kayak.

To make a long story short we waited 3 weeks, had to chase after our boats via phone, and generally had our poor little fishermen hearts broken by one of our favorite retailers.

Kirk and I wrote blog posts…  They were not pretty.

Here’s Cabela’s side:

  •  Customers bought kayaks
  • Manufacturer (lifetime products) had a manufacturing issue
  • Vendor – Manufacturer communication went to hell
  • Customers wait 3 weeks with no boat
  • angry bloggers revolt

Enter:  Sue Stokley

While I’m not 100% sure of her title, I’m pretty sure “customer service goddess” may suffice.   Ya see, Sue is part of a lost breed of customer service managers/folks who understand how to treat each customer like a VIP.

After receiving word on the posts that Kirk and I wrote about our kayak buying experience, Sue was charged with reeling in two very grumpy fishing bloggers.

Listening to her voicemail I was greeted by frantic concern.  Sue urged, “Don’t give up on us yet”.  

This wasn’t a, “we’re really sorry, here’s a cup holder” kinda customer service call.  This was someone who was generally concerned with keeping me as a customer.

While I hate being put in situations like this I gotta say, I could feel the love.

Before I was willing to talk about anything else I asked Sue,  “How do I know that what happened to me won’t happen to one of my other outdoor friends in the future?”.

It was apparent that this was a mixture of part honest mistake and part flawed internal processes.  Sue took the time to explain the breakdown in communication between Cabela’s and the manufacturer.  She understood the frustration that not having my boat on time caused and she fought to make it right.

Sue proceeded to tell me that the manufacturer of the Kayaks (Lifetime Products) has taken a step to make sure this never happens to Cabela’s customers again.  From now on they have one dedicated person to ensure that Cabela’s orders are on time.  If there is a delay that will affect drop ship delivery they will alert Cabela’s so that  customers can be notified in a timely manner.

After an hour or so on the phone I was convinced that Kirk and I had made our impression on Cabela’s.  More importantly, they had listened to their customers and worked to fix their problem.

Did I end up buying the kayak?  No.  I needed a boat sooner rather than later and another blogger buddy of mine has a used Nucanoe that should be a perfect fit.

I won’t go into the details but since Cabela’s couldn’t help me out with a boat they decided to “talk me into” buying a new rod…  But more about that later.

I’m extremely satisfied.  Cabela’s ended up making things right and they will be getting more of my business in the future.  Hopefully Sue Stokley gets a raise (or sainthood) for her hard work.

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