Can we chat?

As many of you haven't noticed, we've added a chat function to our web site. We're trying to figure out if this is valuable to people or not.

We'd envisioned it as a way for people to ask last minute questions as they decided on product selection details or placed an order. What it's actually been is more of a way for people to check on order status (the number one thing) or to ask broader "top of the funnel" questions. Both of which are fine, we're not going to try and tailor what people ask and don't ask by chat, but if that's how people want to use chat, we might be better served by nixing chat in favor of just email. 

Though we'd love to have the capacity for instant response all the time, we're almost always understaffed to do so. And while it's tough as hell to call any customer contact input "disruptive," when you are deep into a wheel build it's best to stay deep into the wheel build. One builder whose work we respect has a "please just email me and don't call" policy, for the above stated purpose. Building wheels is the core function of what we do, and it rewards deep focus. Balancing that need with our desire to give people a better communication experience than the broader industry generally provides is tough. 

I think you'd have to say we're quite good at email. Comprehensive and timely responses are the definite norm. We miss some chats simply because sometimes you don't hear the "ding" or you can't get to a point where you can leave the wheel build within the chat's response time frame. And though we pride ourselves on comprehensiveness of our answers, and though we're loathe to obstruct access to us, stopping work for x amount of time during the day is tough. Is it ok to answer a chat that requires a long, detailed response with "thanks for the question, may we answer more completely by email soon?" Is our having chat something that people find inexcusably valuable? 

 


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  • Joe on

    I find chat universally worthless but then it’s probably outsourced in almost 100% of cases. It sounds like you are actually manning your chat….yourselves??!! I don’t think that’s how your “supposed” to do it….don’t you pay people with no technical knowledge to do chat?

    Don’t break the wheel building flow guys! Once you’re in the zone, stay there :)

  • North Krimsly on

    Great, thanks Dave.

  • Dave on

    All – Thanks, I guess it’s pretty universal! The many emails we got agreed, too.

    North – Totally normal for a WI hub to have a bit of play at the rim as you describe. CK hubs will have a bit, too, unless you over tighten the pre-load adjustment. WI hubs are the only one that isolates quick release clamping force from bearing side load as effectively as they do, which contributes to that. But what you are doing to the wheel when you push/pull it parallel to the axle at the rim isn’t a significant thing that happens when riding. We agree with WI – some play at the rim is fine, there should be no play at the axle.

  • Rob D. on

    No need for chat, e mail is just fine.

  • Paul on

    Avoid the instant gratification syndrome. Better to have well built wheel and a thoughtful response to a coherent question than a bunch of chats. Keep up the good work.



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