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Discussion Starter #1
Called Artillian today to order a replacement manifold for my diverter. After being on hold for 5 minutes, a woman answered and said she had no idea what I was talking about. After explaining what the manifold was and what it did and its location, she still had not a clue what I was talking about.

Put on hold for another 5 minutes then a recording told me to leave a message.

Chris used to answer the phone himself and spend as much time as I needed to answer my questions and sometimes just shoot the breeze. If I needed something it was shipped that day.

Looks like Curtis is doing a great job of destroying all the good will that Artillian built.

I miss Chris.:empathy:
 

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Working to make sure our phone tree is working correctly

GTT Members

Based on this thread, we are testing the Artillian phone tree and voicemail.

Peter and I tested based on this message and found a few issues and our team is working to make sure we understand and correct.

Please let me know if you experience any additional issues.

We want to take your calls in a timely manner and provide the correct guidance.

Feel free to contact me directly with any issues.

Best Regards

John Davis
Director of Sales & Marketing for Artillian and Curtis
508-459-4308 (Direct Line)
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
28 minutes to respond to a post on a forum not a direct call. Wow.

Obviously you care about customer service.
If they cared about customer service they would have serviced me, the customer! Complimenting them on a quick response to a forum thread is fine but I'm a customer who is still without the part I need.

Chris would have made sure I got what I needed immediately. These guys offered an excuse and said they were working on the phones.

I have many Artillian products and they are all first class. I am so glad I bought them from Chris and not the new guys.

I miss Chris more than I did this morning.
 

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If you need just the manifold I think Ken sells the same basic unit, try him.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you need just the manifold I think Ken sells the same basic unit, try him.
Already did.
He had one and was boxing it up for shipment tomorrow morning while we chatted on the phone. Oh, and, he is sending it no charge!

Kenny had the part boxed and ready for shipping while the Artillian "Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" was still trying to get their phones to work.

Now, THAT is customer service! :bigthumb:
 

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Official "Groovie" Dude
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GTT Members

Based on this thread, we are testing the Artillian phone tree and voicemail.

Peter and I tested based on this message and found a few issues and our team is working to make sure we understand and correct.

Please let me know if you experience any additional issues.

We want to take your calls in a timely manner and provide the correct guidance.

Feel free to contact me directly with any issues.

Best Regards

John Davis
Director of Sales & Marketing for Artillian and Curtis
508-459-4308 (Direct Line)
[email protected]
It's posts like this from a supporting vendor that just scream we have great products AND we care about our customers. My hats off to you.
 

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If they cared about customer service they would have serviced me, the customer! Complimenting them on a quick response to a forum thread is fine but I'm a customer who is still without the part I need.

Chris would have made sure I got what I needed immediately. These guys offered an excuse and said they were working on the phones.

I have many Artillian products and they are all first class. I am so glad I bought them from Chris and not the new guys.

I miss Chris more than I did this morning.
The guy gave you his direct number....did you call him?
 

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I have to tell you guys Chris started out in a small, emphasis small barn in his back yard. When the demand for product out stripped the space he had for improved machines/production/shipping he split into two small spaces and split his time from one to the other. And when that didn't work because everyone liked him and his products and he couldn't make them fast enough and pack them and get them out the door he moved to his last shop before he was forced to sell. It was a nice large place that he quickly grew into and slooowly hired help to keep up with demand but we all know how hard it is to find good help and maintain a high level of quality. He was hands on always, with a phone on his hip. Those candies everyone liked were put in by Chris, every time I stopped by he was doing all the bull work of packing and getting product out the door as the few people he hired took over production. Between being the boss, hiring and firing, ordering, packing & shipping, product development and the rest that goes into making a GOOD small business grow he did it all. I am sure it hurt to sell and you are certainly not going to get that passion and commitment out of the new guys overnight. Give it time and good health to Chris.
 

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I have to tell you guys Chris started out in a small, emphasis small barn in his back yard. When the demand for product out stripped the space he had for improved machines/production/shipping he split into two small spaces and split his time from one to the other. And when that didn't work because everyone liked him and his products and he couldn't make them fast enough and pack them and get them out the door he moved to his last shop before he was forced to sell. It was a nice large place that he quickly grew into and slooowly hired help to keep up with demand but we all know how hard it is to find good help and maintain a high level of quality. He was hands on always, with a phone on his hip. Those candies everyone liked were put in by Chris, every time I stopped by he was doing all the bull work of packing and getting product out the door as the few people he hired took over production. Between being the boss, hiring and firing, ordering, packing & shipping, product development and the rest that goes into making a GOOD small business grow he did it all. I am sure it hurt to sell and you are certainly not going to get that passion and commitment out of the new guys overnight. Give it time and good health to Chris.
I could not agree any more about Chris, the few times I was up there I saw the same.

I often tell people I'm the CEO of my company, but the "E" stands for "EVERYTHING" :lolol:
 

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I have to tell you guys Chris started out in a small, emphasis small barn in his back yard. When the demand for product out stripped the space he had for improved machines/production/shipping he split into two small spaces and split his time from one to the other. And when that didn't work because everyone liked him and his products and he couldn't make them fast enough and pack them and get them out the door he moved to his last shop before he was forced to sell. It was a nice large place that he quickly grew into and slooowly hired help to keep up with demand but we all know how hard it is to find good help and maintain a high level of quality. He was hands on always, with a phone on his hip. Those candies everyone liked were put in by Chris, every time I stopped by he was doing all the bull work of packing and getting product out the door as the few people he hired took over production. Between being the boss, hiring and firing, ordering, packing & shipping, product development and the rest that goes into making a GOOD small business grow he did it all. I am sure it hurt to sell and you are certainly not going to get that passion and commitment out of the new guys overnight. Give it time and good health to Chris.
100% THIS. When I ordered my forks I went down to his shop to pick them up. Chris was working on assembling something with another guy when I showed up. He stopped what he was doing, jumped on the forklift and put my order in the bed of my truck himself and give me a quick run through on mounting and using them. He probably would have let me suck up more of his time but I could tell he was busy so I thanked him and left. From the time I placed the order to the time I picked it up, there was no question or confusion as to what was going on.

Since selling his business to Curtis I've only purchased the diverter kits from them. I had no issues getting mine but I'm a little disappointed reading the comments from other people about issues with their orders. I don't think I ever saw any complaints at all when Chris was running the show. That says an awful lot about how he ran his business.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The guy gave you his direct number....did you call him?
No need to call him. Kennyd had my part packed and ready to ship before Artillian responded to the thread.
:good2:
 

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I agree with Fishbait regarding missing Chris.

To compare a person with the passion Chris has for customer service and quality to a "company" probably isn't fair.

We all got spoiled with Artillian when Chris was Artillian.


When I bought my grapple Chris told me he had a "quality" issue with some of the locking keys and if I had a problem to let him know.

Eventually one of the keys broke. I inquired about a replacement from Curtis and I was told they were $25. I don't expect Curtis to know or even honor a replacement. They are a business.

I just did a little cutting and grinding and made my own.


I try not to compare the post-Artillian/Curtis company to the original. I try not to hold them to the same standards that Chris built HIS business on.

I wish Curtis the very best. They bought a great product. Little did they know they also acquired some very big shoes to fill. Hopefully they will get there, but it will never be the same as it was when Chris answered the phone, and we have to get over that.


I am very proud of my "original" Artillian frame, forks, and grapple. I say frames because I still have serial number 00000000000000000001 of Chris's SSQA frame. Maybe I will keep it just cause.


When I purchased my 3039R, I got a new JDQA frame from Curtis. My order when through just fine, the product arrived when it should have and it has the same quality construction I expected.


I too miss Chris. I hope he is doing well.
 

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I agree with Fishbait regarding missing Chris.

To compare a person with the passion Chris has for customer service and quality to a "company" probably isn't fair.

We all got spoiled with Artillian when Chris was Artillian.


When I bought my grapple Chris told me he had a "quality" issue with some of the locking keys and if I had a problem to let him know.

Eventually one of the keys broke. I inquired about a replacement from Curtis and I was told they were $25. I don't expect Curtis to know or even honor a replacement. They are a business.

I just did a little cutting and grinding and made my own.


I try not to compare the post-Artillian/Curtis company to the original. I try not to hold them to the same standards that Chris built HIS business on.

I wish Curtis the very best. They bought a great product. Little did they know they also acquired some very big shoes to fill. Hopefully they will get there, but it will never be the same as it was when Chris answered the phone, and we have to get over that.


I am very proud of my "original" Artillian frame, forks, and grapple. I say frames because I still have serial number 00000000000000000001 of Chris's SSQA frame. Maybe I will keep it just cause.


When I purchased my 3039R, I got a new JDQA frame from Curtis. My order when through just fine, the product arrived when it should have and it has the same quality construction I expected.


I too miss Chris. I hope he is doing well.
Good post.

Another thing that I see - Curtis has been a wholesale company only selling to dealers. With the aquisition of Artillian they are suddenly in the retail web business selling directly to the consumer. Maybe they weren’t setup for this or knew what to expect.

But after 10 month(?) you would think they would have become a bit more streamlined with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
But after 10 month(?) you would think they would have become a bit more streamlined with it.
Yes. They deserve to be criticized.
 

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Due to the issues I had with getting my forks from Artillian, 1 month wait for an in stock product, I am now looking for a grapple and will not even consider them due to all the issues that seem to arise with shipping and communication. It is a shame as the product seems to fit the bill, I will just choose to spend my money elsewhere, it’s a shame as the quality of product seems great.
 

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Good post.

Another thing that I see - Curtis has been a wholesale company only selling to dealers. With the aquisition of Artillian they are suddenly in the retail web business selling directly to the consumer. Maybe they weren’t setup for this or knew what to expect.

But after 10 month(?) you would think they would have become a bit more streamlined with it.
I think that Coaltrain has hit the nail directly on the head with this post. ^^^ It's almost like this part of their business has become the red-headed stepchild of the company and they don't know what to do with it. The Artillian business model (business-to-consumer) is so different than their other business model (business-to-business/distributor) that they're not used to dealing with it. They need to figure it out though.

Due to the issues I had with getting my forks from Artillian, 1 month wait for an in stock product, I am now looking for a grapple and will not even consider them due to all the issues that seem to arise with shipping and communication. It is a shame as the product seems to fit the bill, I will just choose to spend my money elsewhere, it’s a shame as the quality of product seems great.
I really can't blame you. If I were in the market for forks, a grapple, etc., I'd be thinking twice about it. And, this is coming from a guy that has an Artillian diverter, Artillian forks (with heavy duty frame) and a FrontHoe. My Artillian stuff is top notch, but I don't do business with someone that doesn't act like they want my money.

============================

Here's my advice to Curtis....

Someone at the top (actually, several people) needs to read Michael Gerber's book - "The E-Myth Revisited". It's a short read but emphasizes the need for good internal systems to help your business run like a precision machine. And it emphasizes that EVERYONE in the organization needs to follow the systems. Systems are about people. Fishbait's experience with the lady that answered the phone is unacceptable. I can understand the receptionist not knowing what a particular part is (ie - a manifold), but if she hears the word "Diverter" or "Artillian", she should know who to route the call to. I think Fishbait's call is more of a failing of an internal system - NOT the "phone system" which is what Curtis management is looking into fixing. HINT: Before forwarding a phone call, make sure that someone is there to accept the call. If not, start offering to take an "old fashioned message", not just automatically send someone to voice mail.

Someone at the top needs to decide how important the Artillian business unit is to the overall Curtis organization. If it's just a drop in the bucket and they don't care, then keep doing things the way you've been doing it. Eventually this part of the business will just fade away and you won't have to worry about it any more.

If the business unit is important, then put someone (Peter?) in charge of it and give them FULL AUTHORITY to do what needs done to run the business completely and give them the resources to run it. Make their compensation based on the performance of that business unit so the manager has a stake in making it successful. If it's going to be successful, this business unit needs DEDICATED RESOURCES (ie- PEOPLE) for manufacturing, shipping, customer service, etc. Don't let the "Cab Division" borrow someone from the "Artillian Division" because they're backed up in production, let the Cab Division figure that stuff out on their own. Don't ship cabs and cab parts before you ship forks. Have someone within the Artillian division be responsible for getting their products out - don't just say "it's in shipping, we don't know when it will go out."

If you're going to sell directly to the end user, you're going to need some "extended customer service hours". I'm not saying that you need to be 24/7, but you have to remember that not everyone can call between 8-5 EST if they have some sort of issue. At least have a customer service person available for a few hours on Saturday mornings. And maybe monitor customer service emails on the weekend. Guys will be installing diverters, grapples, etc. on the weekend and might have questions. I know that I talked to Chris a couple of times when putting mine together. You don't need to have the same person each weekend - you can have a "manager on duty" and rotate this responsibility amongst the Artillian division employees. Even if they can't actually take care of the issue, just having someone reply over a weekend will go a LONG way towards giving the customer a sense that they're important.

You need to continue to innovate. Hire Chris back as "Product Innovation Guru"! :good2: OK, maybe Chris doesn't want to come back, but my point is that you need to keep expanding the "Artillian System". One thing that Chris was good at was hinting around about things that were in development. MANY guys here and on "the other tractor forum" waited patiently for his awesome grapple design. They waited a LONG time for it and declined to buy other options that were available at the time. You need to do something to make people want to wait on your stuff. Instead, right now you have people that don't even want to wait for you to ship something because your communication has gotten so bad. Do something to restore the "mystique" of the Artillian brand!! (If you'd like an idea for a new product, let me know - I have something in mind.)

It's been said that "Free advice is generally worth what you pay for it" :laugh:, so Curtis can take this for what it's worth. However, I do know that it's sad to watch what used to be a great little company to do business with turn into something not so great.

Good luck, guys!! :bigthumb:
 

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Someone at the top needs to decide how important the Artillian business unit is to the overall Curtis organization. If it's just a drop in the bucket and they don't care, then keep doing things the way you've been doing it. Eventually this part of the business will just fade away and you won't have to worry about it any more.
Very well said.
 

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No need to call him. Kennyd had my part packed and ready to ship before Artillian responded to the thread.
:good2:
You stated AFTER Artillian's response you were still in need of the part.....can't understand why you didn't give him a call.....sometimes I guess it is just more fun to b**ch
 
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