Talking up to your customers

// August 19th, 2010 // Rambling, tech

Frankly, I think RED could have handled their current RED-DRIVE/RED-RAM supply (or lack thereof) problem a bit better than it has. Case in point, the latest which amounts to ‘stop whining’.
The latest response -or- Read from the start
(Sorry to single you out, Brent, but the sword is in your hands and you’ve fallen on it willingly.)

I made an off-the-cuff remark that they’d been taking customer service lessons from AT&T; a demeanor often described as “we’re not happy ’til you’re not happy”. But, that’s actually a bit harsh in that, frankly, I don’t think they’re even thinking about their ‘front-facing’ appearance at all. I don’t follow RED like I used to (mostly because the product I am/was interested in hasn’t shipped yet) but I still watch with interest when they make announcements. They are unique in their customer interfacing practices. And this time… I don’t think it’s gone very well. So, RED, here’s a favour from me to you:

My idea of a better reply to RED customers about the removal of large storage options from the RED store before any replacement option is available. Let me see if I can help you lads with some ’empathy for your customers 101′.

(JUST TO BE 100% CLEAR: THIS IS ME WRITING, NOT RED. I DON’T WORK FOR RED.)

I’d like to try to answer some of your criticisms and concerns as best I can. While it’s clear that, by the very fact that you as customers have raised this issue, there’s a real concern over the recent removal of RED-DRIVE and RED-RAM from our store, we want to explain as best we can why this was necessary. As you know RED has traditionally been on the bleeding edge of camera technology and we do this with a small staff compared to other companies. As such, sometimes we have to make decisions that shift our focus and this sometimes means moving engineering and product work to focus on new, better technologies for the future.

As most of you no doubt know, we’re right on the cusp of releasing some new hardware that will change how many of our existing accessories relate to the overall line. And may change many things about shooting with our cameras, not the least of which are storage requirements. Part of our change of focus, along with the normal supply issues we face with accessories that require outside vendors (drives, flash, etc.) has caused us to, some feel prematurely, stop taking new orders for RED-DRIVE and RED-RAM (we are still fulfilling existing order and providing servicing). We want to assure you that relief is on the way in the form of larger 64GB CF cards as well as some new storage technologies we can’t discuss just yet. We hope you’ll understand the latter and trust us on that.

We’ve often asked you – our working customers who, we understand, have immediate needs in your day-to-day work – to wait, to be patient and trust us and that we would make it all worthwhile in the end. As with the RED-ONE, which was a long but ultimately fulfilling wait for many of you, we hope you’ll bear with us through this growth bump as we re-tool for an even more awesome future. Please watch the site and forums and we’ll keep you posted when new storage solutions are ready to shop.

Thanks,
RED

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