This past Friday I forced myself to buy the new camera body that I have needed for the past year. My current camera is almost 5 years old and the time to upgrade has long passed. I really needed a new camera body and to put my old camera body into work as a second or back up camera body mode.
I went to the local (well not local anymore) camera store where I purchased my first Digital SLR camera and all of my accessories over the past 5 years. I was assisted by a lovely young woman who did not shoot Nikon, but was very knowledgeable about the product. She joked that she had considered switching from Canon to Nikon, but she had too much money invested in Canon lenses and accessories. My intent was to purchase either a Nikon D7000 or the camera it was designed to replace, the D90. All of the reviews I had read and advice I was given was that the D7000 was somewhat superior to the D90.
The sales girl reviewed my needs and wants for a new camera and ended up suggesting that I purchase the lower priced D90. Her reasons were that I was not looking to totally overhaul my camera kit and replace all the lenses and accessories that I had previously purchased. While down the road I am eventually looking to upgrade my lenses and the rest of my equipment, changing camera body styles and purchasing at least one new lens to work optimized on that camera body would cost me about $2500. If the sales girl had insisted that I go that route and make a major investment on the new body and lens, I probably would have taken that advice. Instead she told me that I was better off to make the minor camera body upgrade and wait until spring to buy a new lens that would work on this body as well as a much higher body class I could purchase in the future. She was forgoing a much higher commission getting me set up with a new camera body that would suite my needs and wants, rather than pushing me to buy a new camera body that would require me to also buy some new lenses. Why do my friends not understand why I purchase my camera equipment from a store rather than on the web? I get great customer service. This is a prime example.
As I was doing the paperwork to make the purchase and register for the warranty, the girl asked me if I wanted (the out of stock item I also purchased) to be shipped to my home or my office. At that point I wanted to call the office manager of my downtown Toronto office space and recommend they hire this girl. When I first signed up for my office space Toronto a number of years ago, I dealt with the office manager. She walked me through the office and told me of the different plans they offered. After filling out their Toronto office business centre needs assessment form and talking further with me, she recommended that instead of renting a physical office space from them, that I get a virtual office Toronto. That is what I did. Two years later when my needs changed, they were able to move me to shared office plan without changing my business address or phone number. Another year later, I moved to a Toronto semi-private office space without needing to make changes to my contact information.
Last winter when I felt the need to move to a private window office, the office manager suggested I wait a month and get an East facing office. This had me curious. She told me that I was not a morning client and that based on my typical arrival time, an East facing office that had direct sun before I arrived would be best for me. She could have rented me a larger south facing office, but chose to make me more happy for the long term. This is again what good customer relations are about. Good customer relations is about selling a client what they need today and retaining them as a customer of tomorrow.