Although this isn’t at all tool-related, I want to discuss a recent customer service experience I had with Ed Mullen from SVS Sound. If you’re not interested in the backstory, just scroll down to the summary.
In a recent post I asked whether we can trust the advice and recommendations of customer service. Posts about experiences with a rep from Home Depot’s Husky brand and a Sears “tool expert” then followed. Those stories and this one were all intended to be combined into a single post, but ultimately the length of the combined content warranted separate posts.
I really hadn’t intended to post about the Husky and Sears customer service experiences, but it seemed worthwhile to show to show the varying levels of quality one can expect from customer service. There’s good advice, really bad advice, and as this experience shows, great advice.
As you can probably tell from the name, SVS Sound makes home audio equipment. I wanted to upgrade my 9-year-old Panasonic home theater system and had been researching which components would suit my needs and budget. I picked out a receiver, center speaker, front speakers, and rear surround speakers, but selecting a subwoofer proved to be a challenge.
I saw SVS mentioned a couple of times in home audio enthusiast forums, and so I looked into their offerings. Models from HSU, Klipsch, and BIC America were also on my shortlist.
No matter how much research I did, I could not settle on which sub would be best for my current and future needs.
As read up on SVS a bit more I saw several praises for their customer service and sound experts. Forum members seemed happy with the recommendations they were getting from SVS’s customer service, so I gave them a call.
I spoke with Ed Mullen for a little over 26 minutes. We discussed how and where the sub would be used, and which other sound components it would be integrated with. He remarked on how the receiver I planned to use was a good choice, and looked up the technical specs of the other components I told him I would be purchasing.
Prior to the conversation I knew which product might be a good fit for me, and Ed validated this by recommending the same model. I was still curious about why the other models in their lineup weren’t as suitable for my needs, so I asked further questions.
Ed answered each and every one of my questions thoroughly and with seemingly high competence. There was no sales pressure, only a willingness to steer me in the right direction.
Summary: I asked a deceptively simple question about which SVS subwoofer would be best for my needs, and the advice I received was far more comprehensive than I expected. Ed could have answered some of my followup questions more curtly than he did, but it seemed like he was truly interested in ensuring I was comfortably informed.
Ed recommended one particular model of sub and then helped me understand why the other models I asked about would not be as ideal for my listening environment and usage intentions.
- My questions were answered with extremely high competence.
- I was asked many questions about how, where, and for what the sub would be used.
- There was zero pressure during the entire conversation.
- There was no upselling in regard to the subwoofer or accessories. Ed even advised me on what to look for in other 3rd party cables.
This experience with SVS Sound reminded me what pre-sale “expert advice” should be like. It also reminded me that there are companies who you can fully trust. Ed Mullen wasn’t a pre-programmed SVS Sound robot, he wasn’t reading from a script, and he wasn’t randomly guessing as to what would be best for my needs.
The sub I ordered will be arriving tomorrow afternoon, and if its performance is as good as the pre-sale customer service I received I’ll be a happy camper.