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One of the things I actually miss from my days managing the Customer Service group for Upper Deck is the letters I used to receive. I would on occasion receive appreciative letters about something I had helped a customer with which was nice, but more often than not the letters were concerning a problem.
What I appreciated about them was that the letters were always so different because collectors as a whole are very different. They all have their pet peeves and things that annoy them and luckily for us they are more than happy to share their opinions with us. We use that feedback to ultimately make a better product and to try to help them out. And now by embracing new social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and this blog, we can connect with them in new and exciting ways.
A colleague once asked me, “Don’t you get tired of hearing all the negativity?”
I responded, “It’s not negativity as much as it is an opportunity. Had they not taken the time to contact us, we may have lost their business forever. Now we have the opportunity to save them as a customer.”
I still believe that to be true. That being said, I’m not sure what to do with the letter we received today. The names have been blacked out to protect the customer, but this is just one that had a few of us in the office saying, “Really?”
Sports card and memorabilia collectors by and large are VERY passionate about their hobby and the sports they love. The vast majority of our core collecting base consists of males (94%) generally between the ages of 18 and 45. So it is not surprising the group that seems to be the biggest haters of this hobby and our products are the women they date or marry.
A couple of months ago I gave some tips to a collector who was looking for ways to balance his marriage and his love for the hobby, but I think it’s time to simplify that a bit by using some generalizations. I know that’s not a good thing to do, but it gets us to the answer the quickest.
At our core, guys can be a little stupid and women can be a little crazy. As this letter demonstrates, the husband was a little stupid for continuing to purchase cards, redeem items and for bringing in new memorabilia items that he knew his wife would hate. And in turn, she was a little crazy for writing a company blindly and telling us not to support our customer.
So where does that bring us? If you are one of the 94% in that age range that loves Upper Deck products, try not to be a little bit stupid because you will ultimately make your significant other a little bit crazy. And what does a crazy significant other do to a guy who is a passionate sports fan? Something like this…
Now that brings me to our real issue: How do we respond to this letter? Please give us your feedback in the comments section. We will give the person who provides the response we end up using a full box of 2009-10 NHL Be-A-Player and 2009-10 NHL ICE. We’ll even include this Upper Deck backpack for the lady in your life, because she never looks better than when she’s wearing a brand you love…