How to be a Great Customer

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Daniel Koster
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Oct 18, 2001
I have hundreds of Great Customers out there. Many lurk in the shadows on this forum and never post a thing - but they do email/call me. So, I figured I would take a moment and highlight some patterns I've seen....and post on their behalf.

Great Customers Are...

  • ...patient. I love when I get an email or see a post that goes like this: "Hey, I just submitted an order. I know you are an artist/craftsman and require space/time. Just drop me a line when it gets close to being completed!" <==This is a Great Customer.
  • ...specific. The more details I get in an email or phone call, the more likely a response will be forthcoming.
  • ...polite. Great Customers understand that politeness works wonders on bull-headed people like me. I practically bend-over-backwards to accommodate the wishes of those customers that are gentle and kind.
  • ...understanding. Knifemaking is an ART....meaning, it requires individual attention to details, working with my hands and is subject to errors, setbacks and hardships. Great Customers understand that despite all the machine work there is a person behind it all.
  • ...trusting. It's the knifemaker's reputation on the line. I do what works best for me. I work my hardest and best to get as many knives as possible out there with the highest level of craftsmanship.
  • ...well-informed. They've read the FAQ and have visited my website. They've visited my forum as well as my facebook page. They understand my process and my version of knifemaking.

Great Customers Don't...

  • constantly asking for updates. They understand my process and that I update as soon as I make progress. Making my order lists public is a great service I provide to help keep customers informed and "satisfy the itch". It's not a tool to be used to leverage me against myself. A great majority of knifemakers keep their lists private for this very reason. I hope I never have to go that route.
  • ...insist on paying in full upfront. A Great Customer understands that I am a "nice guy" and have a hard time "saying no"....and that insisting on paying upfront puts me between a rock and a hard place; that I am then "under the gun" until that obligation is met...and it's hard for me to do my best under those conditions...even worse if that full payment carries with it the notion that the order will magically walk to the front of the line.
  • ...rattle the lion's cage. The emails that I get from Great Customers offer support and encouragement. Sometimes, they just drop a line to say Hi. I talk to hundreds of people every month. How would you like to be remembered?
  • ...make unreasonable demands. Who goes to McDonald's and throws a fit because they don't offer sushi?
  • ...pressure me or stress me out. When I am under stress, mistakes happen. When I am struggling to get an order out the door because of an ultimatum (threat), mistakes happen. Who orders a knife thinking "Hey, I don't want your best work...just your fastest work?" Not my Great Customers. ;)

I reserve the right to update this list as I come in contact with more patterns of excellent customer behavior. :D
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