We received a lot of great feedback from our first few customers when we first launched the aux input. Our customers were amazing, sharing their experiences with others, and we received a lot of thanks and positive feedback. The positive feedback is great – it tells us that we are doing something right, and boosts both our confidence as well as potential customers that we can deliver a good value.
However, not all feedback is positive, and we’ve had problems as well. In the beginning, the modules were sent out with errors in the programming that would cause intermittent failures, and we would hear from our customers about issues. We would scratch our heads to resolve these issues, and we had to send out replacement modules. This was embarrassing, but it drove us to refine our code, and discover the issue that was holding us back. Our customers in general have been patient with us when issues arose, and were gracious and even thankful when we were able to solve our own problems. Part of that is owning the problem. If there’s a problem, we own it. We fix it. We have confidence both in our product and in our customer service’s ability to make it right for our customers and deliver the value we promise.
Everything we send out is tested, but sometimes, I’ll get an email saying it isn’t working, and this keeps me up at night. The best customer service is for the customer to not need the customer service, even though we pride ourselves in great support. Sometimes, we’ve sent out a module that failed, or a faulty cable. Sometimes, we haven’t given our customers the information they need to install our products, and we get modules plugged in backwards, at the wrong connector (which usually fries them), or our customers cannot figure out how to install the aux cable. In any case, we take it on ourselves to own the issue, and try to resolve it, even when we cannot see what our customer sees.
The most recent issue, which is relevant to our current customers, is that the connector that goes to the back of the stereo is fragile. If it is pulled from the wire rather than the heat shrink strain relief, the pins can pull out. Generally speaking, if the connector is installed and you’re not experiencing issues, you’re fine. We had a customer ask for his money back because the pins had pulled out, and the best thing we can do after giving him his money back is to redesign our cables to prevent the pins from getting pulled out. We will be switching to dupont-style pins on this connector, as they crimp on, and snap/lock into the connector, giving us a more durable connector on this side. With this change, we will end up using a smaller connector, and the heat shrink that we use will be sized more appropriately to the cable. All in all, this is a great change that is exciting for us in that it makes it easier to build our cables, and we end up with a better performing cable for our customer.
This seemingly negative experience for both us and our customers that have experienced this issue is causing us to make a better product, and for that, I’m grateful. Truly it’s the negative feedback that spurs change for the better. I love hearing how we’ve done a good job, but I know it’s the times when we fail that will really cause us to grow. My message is to embrace the negative feedback. Let it sink in, and then let it motivate you. Own up to your failures, and become a better person/organization.