0 comments / Posted on by Tammie McClure

While South of Memphis is a business like any other, it is a small business owned by a single couple, husband and wife. And wife, that's me, does the bulk of the work because I'm the designer, he builds things. Tables and shelves and has taught me inventory and shipping (he has 23 years experience in shipping and inventory control). We don’t have a board or anyone else we answer to. We answer to our customers. That is how it should be, no matter the size of the business but in the current world the old adage that the customer is always right doesn’t hold as much steam anymore.

Just like you, I’m a customer of other businesses and I’ve had some really bad experiences with horrifically poor customer service. I feel pretty safe saying you have had some really horrible customer service experience at some point, and isn’t that sad? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some sort of horror story about poor service. Even the best of companies, large or small - goof up sometimes and then there are some who know you have little to no alternative to them and they treat you like you are pond scum. Certain cable/internet companies ranked poorly year after year come to mind. No one should be expected to "just dill with it". 

In college, a group animation project actually used a poor service parody for a team final project. I designed the 2D story boards in Adobe Illustrator based off hand drawings designed by a very talented artist in our group, I still keep up with him on Facebook in fact. Then another person did the 3D animation and we all worked on the script together. One student did a wonderful bit of voice acting for us.

The gist of the animated cartoon was a man calling for customer service and getting an automated system that sent him down the rabbit hole of pushing number keys on his phone trying to get help. In the end, he never got the help he needed. It went on for several minutes before he punches one last number sequence and ends up back at the main menu before the automated system (our friend who did the voice was so great) says it didn’t understand the entry and hangs up on him.

In the end, the poor little man’s head exploded. It was planned to be a bit on the graphic side and we had to scale that back a bit and just go to a black screen. Instead you just hear his scream and the explosion as the credits roll. But the basic idea was conveyed well without having to see the little guys head explode (though I must admit the particle generation for that would have been epic.) 

Many people could easily identify with our little animated man’s dilemma and even now, all these years later I still think of that lesson and how I never want to give my customers poor service like that. I mean, really, how many times have you thought you were going to have an aneurysm waiting for a human being to answer the damn phone!?

We try our absolute best at South of Memphis to give people excellent service and will do whatever we can to provide the best product possible. We do not do buisness by phone really, most of it is via email and online support channels because we aren't big enough yet to have employees. Meaning...for the most part it is me, doing everything. More customers would change that of course but you gotta start somewhere. But I *am* available to help customers via email and we may add other online features like live chat or text service in the near future.

No matter how hard we try though, inevitably mistakes can be and are made. We are only human after all, but owning up to those mistakes is 99.9% of what good service is. All a customer wants, is to make sure they get their money’s worth, no matter if what they bought was $10 or $100 all customer service should be consistent and fair at any price range. So far we have done well. We had one print issue that didn't bother the customer actually but it bothered me, so I replaced it for free. They asked me not to worry they were happy with the product but *I* wasn't happy with it so I made it right. That is what a responsible buisness owner does. I don't want sub-par tees to be associated with the South of Memphis brand. It is a matter of pride to me because South of Memphis *is* me.

At the end of the day, I too expect good service when I do business, so I shouldn’t expect to provide my customers with anything less than I’d expect for myself. 

So if you can't reach us by phone because I am wearing more than one hat, shipping, receiving, inventory, sales, service, bloging, manufacturing, design, marketing, advertising, social media manager and even janitor then, email us at service@southofmemphis.com, we check that many, many times a day. 

Tam McClure
South of Memphis




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