By Tim Bryce
Let me begin by saying I genuinely believe Zippo Lighters and Cross Pen and Pencils are the best products of their kind in the world today. I know there are more expensive products out there with more elegant designs, but for my money it's Zippo and Cross. Now let me explain why. I've enjoyed these products for over thirty years now and in that time I've learned that as good and durable as these products are, they will inevitably experience normal wear and tear, thereby requiring repair. In this era of disposable products, our first inclination might be to simply throw such products away and purchase new ones, but both companies offer lifetime warranties which they stand behind. And I have taken them up on their offer to repair products on more than one occasion with no questions asked. Each time I send in my lighters and pen and pencil sets, they come back like new, and the only thing I paid for was postage to ship the products to them.
It is comforting to know there are still companies out there who stand behind their products through thick and thin, a rarity in today's disposable society. Some people think that such warranties are no longer practical to implement anymore, that it is cheaper just to buy a new lighter or pen. What these people fail to realize is that lifetime warranties mean lifetime customers; that consumers such as myself develop loyalties to the products, not just because of how they look and work, but because they know the vendor is prepared to maintain their products. This instills a sense of confidence in the consumer which leads to loyalty and repeat business. Not only are lifetime warranties good business, I can't imagine why there aren't more companies with comparable products offering such support.
Understand this, Zippo and Cross are also playing the odds. If everyone were to send back their lighters and pens for repair they might swamp the companies and cost them millions. But they realize most people tend to dispose of such products and buy new ones instead. So, although they generously offer a fine lifetime warranty, they recognize that only a fraction of their customers will actually take them up on their offer. Nonetheless, the lifetime warranty stands out in the consumer's mind and causes repetitive business.
It's nice to know there are still companies in the United States who understand what customer service means and the effect it can have on the bottom-line of a company. So, next time you are checking out that fancy new lighter and pen and pencil set, do yourself a favor, go and take a look at what Zippo and Cross have to offer. They stand behind their products. Do their competitors?
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Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida. You can find his work on the Internet at:
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Copyright © 2007 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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