by Eric Kootte
As I write this, Skid Row has been serving the offroad community for nearly 21 years. As you would expect there have been both ups and downs over those years. While many things haven’t gone as planned, many more have gone exactly as planned. One of our successes is our reputation. We have worked hard to assure that our products are known for being innovative, high quality, durable, and easy to install. Even more importantly, our company is also known for excellent customer service when problems do arise.
While we try hard to make sure that our customers never have a problem with one of our products, we know we’re not, and never will be, perfect. When a customer contacts us with questions or concerns we respond as soon as we can, which may very well be after we’ve closed for the day. To resolve the issue, we first make sure that they’ve got the correct item for their vehicle. If not, we let them know what the correct item is and what’s different about it. If they’ve got the right part, but are having problems we ask about modifications to their vehicle. Offroaders make a LOT of modifications to their toys and as hard as we try, it’s impossible to design something that will work with every single modification or custom part that’s available. Sometimes a few good photos are all that’s needed to figure it out. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
We really do appreciate being contacted and see it as an opportunity to make a new friend and improve what we do. If you’ve spent your hard earned money on one of our products, regardless of where you purchased it, we appreciate it. That also applies to folks who buy our products used. We know that you work hard for your money and want to be able to play hard on the weekends. We also know that while price is an important consideration, you make your buying decisions based on quality, durability, and reputation, as well. We do our best to meet or exceed your expectations in all of those areas in order to truly earn your business.
Having spent a lot of time offroading our Jeeps on trails all over the country, we’ve got a good feel for what works and what doesn’t. We’ve also installed a variety of other company’s products and we’ve seen both good and not-so-good designs and installation instructions. That knowledge and experience has helped tremendously in creating our products and the installation instructions that are included in every package. To make our customers’ experience with us positive, we strive to solve potential problems in the design phase and to include installation tips and clear photos whenever possible. That has helped to assure that our customers really don’t have many problems with our products. ....which is exactly the way it should be.
So how do we know that we’ve succeeded in building an excellent reputation?
The most obvious way is the wonderful and positive comments that we often receive from customers. Sometimes they’ll tell us a story about a trail ride they took and how our newly installed skid plates worked for them. Other times they’ll include photos of their pride and joy with one of our products visible. Sometimes they’ll be out on a trail having the time of their lives. We love getting messages like that, and we especially love seeing our customers using our products and having fun! So, please don’t hesitate to send us pictures of and/or stories about your adventures.
The second, less obvious, way is not so nice and is one of the frustrating problems that we’ve encountered over the years: Copy Cats. They are one of the ways that we know we’ve succeeded and aren’t just patting ourselves on the back. There are two types of Copy Cats. One type uses our name and stellar reputation in order to sell their cheap, low quality products. The other type literally copies our products exactly and then sells them using their name as if they had designed them themselves. I’ll describe each in a separate post since there’s plenty to tell about each.
As they say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and we will continue to provide our competitors with reasons to flatter us. Quality, durability, and excellent customer service are what people have come to expect from Skid Row and those are things that will never change as we continue to serve the offroad community for the next 20+ years.