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What's The Big Deal About Customer Service?

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For over a year now, all I hear people talk about is how good NGC is with customer service and how bad PCGS is with it. My question is how much customer service is really involved with coin grading? You send in your coins, they charge you a fee and give you their opinion on them, and send them back to you. Seems pretty straightforward huh? I've been submitting coins to both places since 1986 and have never really had "a customer service " issue except for one time that I sent an overgraded coin back to NGC for review and it took over 8 months to get resolved after they agreed it was overgraded.

 

Do people make too much of this "customer service" thing?

 

Dragon

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For me, it's the little things that add up.

 

You will always have a situation where you and the graders don't agree on a grade, it's just a fact of life. But NGC seems to give more attention to small stuff, like answering questions on these boards (not the once-a-month stuff like PCGS), quick responses to phone calls and e-mails, and the like. Those kinds of things seem to stick in the back of your mind.

 

As to the grading, why does it seem that you can take the same coin, send it in 3 or 4 times, get the piece bodybagged once, and 2 or 3 different grades when it slabs? I don't like that track record of inconsistency.

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Do people make too much of this "customer service" thing?

 

Maybe. In your opinion, what is too much? Is it anywhere like how people will only buy PCGS slabs because they like the look? Or, how diehards over there refuse to post over here simply because this isn't the PCGS site?

 

Ok, I digress...

 

Customer service is many things to me. Within this narrow topic, I would include accurate and consistent grading as being part of good customer service. Why? Because that is what the customers want.

 

And, why else is good customer service important? Because it makes me feel like my business is important to them. And, in a more substantial way, it allows the service provider and the service receiver to be more in sync with expectations.

 

If anyone enjoys paying good money for a product and then being made to feel like poop about it, well that's up to you.

 

EVP

 

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EVP,

 

Maybe I was misunderstood or worded it wrong. My only point was that I didn't see how "customer service" or building relationships or what have you could be such an important factor in coin grading.

 

As far as accurate and consistent grading, I guess I didn't really think of that as part of customer service but more of product quality control. I can see how if someone has an issue they need attention with, it's nice to get good service I guess, however I just really never saw coin grading as a real customer service oriented business.

 

Dragon

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Customer service is really important.

 

I bought a coin in a misattributed PCGS holder that I couldn't return. I was out about $120. After some pleading on my behalf, Rick agreed to give me a $120 credit. I submitted coins at Long Beach under the economy service and didn't see the results after a month. When I inquired, I was told they had no record of the submission. Later PCGS told me I hadn't paid for the grading yet. After a lot of calls and e-mails, I finally got it resolved.

 

There were lots of customer service issues that could have been resolved through better internal communications, but it worked out in the end.

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The problem with PCGS is that they hire 18 kids to answer the phone. Economy Crossover? Insert number not in the database? I need some invoices please? ....... sent me sports card invoices... even after I told them COIN INVOICES.... and gave them my account number! (Coin only membership) Forget about trying to fix a coin with the wrong insert description(Small Date, Large date...ect...ect). Sent in 4 cross overs all them got bodybagged in the computer system.......received coins in mail..... 3 coins in PCGS holders!!! ???? E-mails fall in some great big black hole.... never answered!!!

 

you have to call Rick to get anything fixed!!!

 

 

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Customer service is a lot like a hospital. You never hope to use it, but you sure want it when you need it. As a computer programmer, I'm conditioned to avoid all forms of support and troubleshoot myself. But even with these services, sometimes all it takes is when someone "let their fingers do the walkin" on a coin to test the value of customer service.

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Dragon,

 

Maybe we do have a misunderstanding here. If it's me, then I apologize.

 

However, I think customer service is an attitude thing. Mistakes in grading is inevitable. The attitude that we must do better for our customers should make everything, including grading, better.

 

EVP

 

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Heres one PCGS NEVER gets right......"sequentially number inserts" ... try to up-grade a pedigreed coin and get the same "pedigreed insert number" for the new coin. (So the set still matchs)This process is good for wasting 3 months and sending the coins back 3 times before someone gets it right.

 

Give the new coin the "old number with the pedigree"

Give the old coin a "new number... with no pedigree"

 

Do you understand English?

 

 

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As far as accurate and consistent grading, I guess I didn't really think of that as part of customer service but more of product quality control. I can see how if someone has an issue they need attention with, it's nice to get good service I guess, however I just really never saw coin grading as a real customer service oriented business.

 

Customer Service isn't as critical to the grading process, until some grader gives you the finger(print). wink.gif

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Customer service is usually the only link we have to these companies. If I spend $30 on a coin to be graded and I think they totally blew it, then I should have a friendly and helpful link to the company to discuss it. I can’t even begin to describe the number of obvious mistakes that I have encountered that took WAY TOO MUCH effort to get resolved.

 

In the distant past I had horrible experiences with NGC customer service. They were arrogant jerks (the entire company really) who didn’t care. Something changed there for the better. My opinion of the company has gone up since these forums were started and their customer service attitude changed. (To be fair, their CS attitude might have changed long ago, I just didn’t deal directly with them).

 

I’ve submitted more coins to NGC lately because I like their attitude and responsiveness. It hasn’t been a lot of coins, but it is more than it would have been without their excellent CS attitude. It used to be that most of my coins would automatically go to PCGS. Now I think about where the coin should go and I know if I have a problem I can most likely get it resolved at NGC. I can’t say the same for PCGS. Now if NGC could only get the economy and modern coins graded a little faster I’d be really happy. (hint, hint wink.gif).

 

Charlie at PCGS is working on making CS better. He’s fixed several problems for me. However, I think the entire attitude of the organization is such that they don’t really care. They are #1 in their minds and you should be happy to be dealing with them. It’ll be hard for him to better the CS situation when others, including the head people, don’t care. They will lose many submissions because of this. Had they had better CS then this might not have happened.

 

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Customer Service is: all thing being equal, how do you differentiate your Product Franchise from everyone else's (boy! that MBA comes in handy sometimes)? You improve Customer Service! That is, I assume, the premise that NGC is working under.

 

As others mentioned, it's the small things and caring about customer gripes, whether they seem important to you or not. They are important to the customer and the customer will long remember that you took the time to help answer their questions.

 

That is why I reside over here. I realize that sometimes I can be a pain in the ***, but I try to express my concerns the best way that I can and I appreciate people responding to them, instead of being ridiculed. tongue.gif

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Good customer service has only one goal, that is to promote customer loyalty. If the perception bubble ever pops at PCGS that some of their coins carry a premium, then do you think submissions will go up or down? Based on their perceived premium, they have maintained customer loyalty,they will be in for a surprise if that evaporates. It seems from what I have been hearing from dealers and listening to the chat on the other forum, loyalty to them is based primary on that perception. In other words we will put up with a lot of if we think we are buying the best slab.

 

Before anyone else says it, I don't buy slabs, at the shows I go to I couldn't tell you what slabs 90% of the coins I looked at were in.

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"Charlie at PCGS is working on making CS better."

 

That is true, Greg. Something came up last week. I e-mailed Charlie, hoping against hope to hear from him in a day or two. There was a reply e-mail within ten minutes of me sending mine. I was stunned. We exchanged a few e-mails back and forth and within 20 minutes, what I had brought to his attention had been addressed and dealt with. And it was important. Not to the life and death of PCGS, but important to me and others on the forum.

 

Carl

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Charlie is good. He PMed me updates on my coins that I was having fixed after a "fingerprint mishap" at PCGS. When I got a bill for this service I contacted him and he took care of it. Admittedly I got the same bill a few weeks later, but the person I spoke to on the phone took care of it again and basically indicated she thought it was an error when she sent it out.

 

I was overcharged for some submissions (gradings and shipping fees) and I contacted him and he took care of it.

 

He seems like a nice and competent guy. Too bad he is a card guy. smirk.gif

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It is all a ploy from these companies. They pat you on the back and say we value you as our customer. Meanwhile, the other hand is digging into your pocket to get more money out of it. Most of them are pick pocketts. BEWARE.

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