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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Customer Service
Do the major model companies communicate well enough with their customers?
Yes526.32%
No1473.68%
Could better communication help improve model standards?
Yes1894.74%
No15.26%
 

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Have a look at this weblink...

http://www.dapol.co.uk/newsn.html

This is a good example of a company communicating well with its customers and explaining fully some problem with a product instead of remaining silent waiting for the model magazines to complain in the reviews once the product had commenced production... (...Hornby!!)

Surely if customers and experts were made a part of the production process all be it in a small way, models would not reach the market with minor defects, mistakes... and in some cases the livery of one class of locomotive being applied incorrectly to a totally different class...

The customer will buy the product at the end of the day... maybe they should help to check that nothing has been overlooked by mistake...

signalbox
 

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You would have thought that a quality control department would pick up on stuff like this. I guess one of the issues with quality as regards the UK is that the customer is too tolerant of a manufacturers shortcomings. Historically British people have been very tolerant. May be we should complain more and get companies to raise their game. The Germans don't stand for c
p and they get a better product. Why do we?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was hoping that customers could be constructive and help get better models since complaining often has the effect of annoying big companies.


Cooperation between companies and customers is what I'd like to see promoted.

'together we achieve more than the sum of our parts' or so the saying goes.


signalbox
 

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QUOTE (signalbox @ 9 Jan 2007, 10:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was hoping that customers could be constructive and help get better models since complaining often has the effect of annoying big companies.


Cooperation between companies and customers is what I'd like to see promoted.

'together we achieve more than the sum of our parts' or so the saying goes.


signalbox
How do you intend to acheive this?


Most often the first a customer will experience of a model is when he has bought it and got it home. If it's a faulty product then he will quite rightly complain. Why should he care if the company gets annoyed if he complains about a faulty product?
He has every right to complain if the product does not meet his expectations. I am really baffled as to why you do not believe a consumer has the right to complain about a substandard product just because it will annoy a company.

You need to explain more about what you mean by "customers could be more constructive". You really do sound as if you are a representative of a model company stating how you wish modellers to approach your model company.

Your scenario seems to assume that a bunch of modellers will be invited round to the factory to check out new products prior to their release. Is this what you envisage?
 

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First off, I do not represent any model company.

Yes complain when you buy a model and it doesn't work. Take it back, exchange it etc. I have done in the past and will do again if need be.

This isn't the issue. Let me clarify.

I suggest that Hornby and Bachmann et al do more to ensure that when models reach the market they are 99.9% perfect. I get bored of seeing lots of complaints every time a new model is released regarding things which spoil the model for many enthusiasts, wrong colour, rubbish packaging etc etc. These could be solved simply if customers were involved in an evaluation stage before full production.

Dapol utilises this sort of feedback from customers all the time... they post CAD drawings of the models in development, show pre production mock ups, and once even a colour sample of a wagon livery (which was subsequently altered and improved when a customer e-mailed a photo showing the livery - one which was better than any Dapol had found. This is the sort of customer feedback I am meaning. This isn't looking round the factory but brings some aspect of quality control to the customer... who will nearly always be better at it than the big manufacturers.

My point is that Hornby or Bachmann announces a model and the next we see of it is when it hits the shops. Why not have people from the magazines, the modellers etc involved in this checking stage. At the end of the day we buy the model and we also want good accurate models.

It's about time companies realised that there is a wealth of expertise in the modelling community which could be used to our and their advantage by ultimately getting better products without the mistakes. Complaining about the fact that a model has the windows 2mm too high once you have bought it is no use since it's too late once all the models have been produced.

Look on things constructively and look at ways for the modelling community to help stop it happening next time.

The emphasis is on the companies here not on the customers although I mis-conveyed this in my last post.

signalbox

ps dapol has a good way of involving customers... maybe other forum members have other suggestions.
 

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QUOTE My point is that Hornby or Bachmann announces a model and the next we see of it is when it hits the shops. Why not have people from the magazines, the modellers etc involved in this checking stage. At the end of the day we buy the model and we also want good accurate models.

It's about time companies realised that there is a wealth of expertise in the modelling community which could be used to our advantage by ultimately getting better products without the mistakes. Complaining about the fact that a model has the stripes 2mm to high once you have bought it is no use since it's too late once all the models have been produced. Look on things constructively and look at ways for the modelling community to help stop it hapenning next time.

THIS IS DIFF

It is very easy to complain a lot but why not try to do something to improve things?
I guess the problem there is that while I and a lot of other people on this forum would love to be consulted on the process, it is the manufacturers who really have to take the initiative. They are the guys holding the cards and if they don't show them we cannot participate. I suppose they don't want any information about their new products to be made known to competitors prior to release so that would be a disincentive for them to do this.

QUOTE Second, I get bored of seeing lots of complaints every time a new model is released regarding minor things which spoil the model for many die hard enthusiasts.

Yes complain when you buy a model and it doesn't work. Take it back, exchange it etc. I have done in the past and will do again if need be. Yes there is a difference between a whinge and a bona fide complaint. To be honest I think the whinger element is a minority. Most people, myself included, would have no idea if a rivet was missing or something trivial like that.

QUOTE dapol has a good way of involving customers... I liked the way the Dapol guy dealt with the issue. He admitted it and was being pro-active in trying to resolve it. Exactly what you want from a customer point of view. I think that is easier when you are a smaller company. Larger companies seem more aloof from the customer base they serve and a bit more detached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 9 Jan 2007, 02:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>They are the guys holding the cards and if they don't show them we cannot participate.

That's it in a nutshell. The manufacturers like to be secretive OK.... surely there are something us modellers can see without them letting the cat out of the bag


QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 9 Jan 2007, 02:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes there is a difference between a whinge and a bona fide complaint. To be honest I think the whinger element is a minority.

I hope the whinge is in the minority. I quite often feel like it isn't and that is a downer to the hobby.

Obviously there are some different views on all this but it is good to open a discussion up. If only the manufacturers would listen.

Perhaps the biggest downer is that there is more chance of the manufacturers opening pig airport in Margate than modellers being involved better in the design process.

signalbox
 

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QUOTE I hope the whinge is in the minority. I quite often feel like it isn't and that is a downer to the hobby. They are a minority, they are just more vocal than the silent majority.

QUOTE Perhaps the biggest downer is that there is more chance of the manufacturers opening pig airport in Margate than modellers being involved better in the design process. Well if they decide to I'm available.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 9 Jan 2007, 02:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well if they decide to I'm available.


We already have "Pig airport", ooops, sorry it's either called Kent International or London (Manston) Airport. However if you came over Neil you could visit all us East Kent types.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 13 Jan 2007, 03:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We already have "Pig airport", ooops, sorry it's either called Kent International or London (Manston) Airport. However if you came over Neil you could visit all us East Kent types.

Regards

John
I'd love to John, it's a while since I've been to Kent. Maybe on my next trip home.
 
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