Welcome to the latest week in my gaming life. I had a wonderful New Year, if anyone was curious. I know at least one of you are, probably. I had a wonderful evening of games on New Years Eve, including a proper month of Pandemic: Legacy, and Sheriff of Nottingham.
If you’re wondering why I say a proper, have a look at last weeks post, The Words are all Wonky.
Anyway, on with this weeks topic. Once the other player and I actually started playing correctly, we had a blast playing. That was until we hit one of our dossier pages, that have Top Secret information within that adds rules and things of that nature. One of our sheets was misprinted. All of the correct stickers were all under there somewhere, however, the sheet that they were printed on were essentially upside down. This meant that all of the stickers we needed to pull off of that specific dossier page were partial, and glued down to the sheet and it was a mangled mess. Once we figured out that the contents were in there and just upside down, we carefully pulled the pieces off and stuck them on to where they were meant to be placed.
This let us play the game that night, however, with more and more stickers coming out of that sheet, they became tougher to read and it was to a point that we were unable to read new things, and unable to continue. I mean, that and, by the time we got to that point, it was about 3 in the morning and gaming was pretty much done for the night anyway.
This is sort of the decision point in my story. I was torn about whether or not to contact Z-man, and complain about the dossier sheet. I’ve never been in the position to have a necessity to contact and request amendment for a faulty product with anything ever. I’m not the type to need a perfect copy of a game, and if there are small flaws, I believe that for the most part, I would deal with it. The night we were stuck, I had actually sent a tweet to Z-man, looking for a quick photo or something, without response. That was all I was going to bother them, however, upon, looking at the stickers we had attached to that point already, I knew that they were only going to keep getting worse and more unreadable. I decided to at least check out the website to see if there was a PDF of the full rules, or even an interactive rule set, so we don’t get hit with a bunch of spoilers. No luck. However, the front page was very informative, telling me that there was no response from Z-man due to them being on their holidays until January 4th.
At that point I sent an email explaining my situation of a misprinted dossier folder, knowing I wouldn’t likely get a response for some time. I had no real expectations from the email, as it obviously isn’t a deliberate fault of theirs that something wasn’t printed correctly. Maybe I’m just too lenient towards situations like this, but I realize that errors are made everyday. Maybe Craig from the printers was having an off day. Maybe his dog was going in to get some work done. Dogs need botox too right? (NOTE: There probably isn’t a Craig at Z-mans printers, and I’m aware dogs don’t get botox. But you laughed at least a little right? Right?)
Anyway, back to the point of my story. I wasn’t expecting response about this situation at all. If I got an email with the rules in it, I’d be happy as a clam. I don’t understand how clams are happy, but I think I heard an old person say it once. Gee, I’m getting sidetracked tonight. Sorry!
During the day today, the first day the Z-man offices were opened back up, I received an email back from them. I was surprised to say the least. I had it in my head that I would get zero response. For them to send me an email at all, on top of it coming the first day back in the offices was amazing customer service to me. The email I sent them had basically said, that if it was at all possible, having the sheet sent, or the rules on the sheet emailed to me, so we could at least get on with our campaign. They did me one better. Without asking for any photos of the dossier or the stickers that were coming out of it, they emailed back saying they would send an entirely new dossier. I know that it is probably less costly for them to just send the whole thing instead of the one sheet, but to do so without any questions was beyond anything I could have expected. To have so many different things going on within a company at such a time – just getting back from holidays and such – it was awesome to hear back so soon. They had a completely legitimate reason to leave the small stuff for a couple of days, and deal with some bigger issues, but they were on top of even the small things, as far as I can tell.
So why go over all of this with you? I just want to share my game stories. This is definitely one of them, and it is an unfortunate situation that was quickly, and so far extremely well handled. The day they get back into the office, they are dealing with customer service issues. This positive experience is something that I have now started using as a benchmark for any issues that I hope I never have in the future, with any company. Whether it be a small self published game, or another large company. There will always be a reasonable response time in my mind, of a couple of days, and I never expect a same day response, especially on a weekend, but without a doubt, the standard of customer service I expect in my mind has gone up because of Z-man games. I couldn’t say enough positive about this experience, as I’m sure you’ve gathered. But I think this story could be used to give some customer service an idea of what should be expected.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my positive customer service experience story this week. I think I quite enjoyed the couple of questions at the end of last weeks post, so I’ll do it again. What has been your best customer service care that you have experienced? What about the worst you’ve been put through? If you are in the business of customer service, what do you strive for to keep your customers happy? Oh yes, and I love you all!