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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 02:24 PM
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No. All that is required by each distribitor is a PHONE NUMBER and/or email address

So if you're at the GLOBAL ibanez.com site the first thing you do is select where you're from. You click Belgium (for example) the web site shows you the contact info (phone number and/or email address) and optionally loads the Ibanez web page relative to that 'region' if they have one.

Very simple
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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 02:31 PM
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Yea, that makes sence, email for those with a web presence AND actual email support, and a phone # for the rest. Might as well just be a phone directory :biggrin:
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 02:58 PM
 
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Yeah, a Belgian web site would rule! (Sorry for the silly post)

(Edited by stoopid at 2:00 pm on Feb. 23, 2001)
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 04:03 PM
 
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What Ibanez needs is a global Web site strategy. The way they're doing it now shows that both Ibanez and their global distribution network have no idea how to leverage the Web to better serve themselves, their retailers and their end users.

Their Web sites should be dynamically served out of a master database that contains information on all of their products in every language. Updates to the database would result in instant updates to the information that appears on the Web site.

Every "regional" sub-site could just display the specific products from the database that are carried in that region, in the appropriate language. All the regional distributors would need to do is log into a secure area of the site and configure their region's product offerings by clicking a bunch of checkboxes for the products they carry. Done.

Similarly, they could choose the method of contact for their customers, whether that be an e-mail form on the site, a direct mailto link, a phone number, or none at all if they're not set up to take direct end-user calls. (They may prefer to have end-users contact their local reseller, rather than the distribution centre.)

There's so much information they could include in this private distributor area, including up-to-date shipping ETAs, product and parts availability and product spec sheets in PDF format that could be printed on demand, for current and discontinued products.

Some of this information could even be made available to the end users.

Currently, Ibanez has to "re-invent" their web site every year, resulting in poor communication to the retail channel and end-users, and people end up having to guess about the product line (or ask the same questions over and over and over) until the site is launched 1/3 of the way into the model year.

Starting up a database-driven site will take a lot of lead time and a fair amount of start-up overhead, but it will pay off immensely down the road with the speed at which they can update both the information and the look-and-feel of the site.

It's 2001. The Web is your friend. Do not be afraid.

All your base are belong to us.

(sorry, couldn't resist)
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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 04:18 PM
 
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Ibanez should hire you!
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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 04:23 PM
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Damn, if only you were Japanese and the VP of Web Based Media for Ibanez!!
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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 04:42 PM
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No doubt what Darren spoke of would be the ultimate goal. I'm not sure Ibanez is equipped for this and lets assume they don't even have the budget or know-how to do that worldwide. Keep in mind also that some countries don't have affordable/rapid internet access still.

I believe even if Ibanez started small, they could improve customer service immediately. This would involve a few domain name registrations and several days worth of phone calls, data input (even if in a spreadsheet) and simple HTML coding.

Even the simplest of projects, sometimes getting started is the hardest step... glen
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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 05:45 PM
 
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"If wishes were trees, the trees would be fallen."

Anyone have cost projections on any of their plans? *I hope it's $0.00. *Otherwise, plan on seeing prices raised to cover the costs.

Ibanez does have a wicked customer support network. *You're looking at it.
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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 07:17 PM
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This is a very short synopsis of an 'unnoffical' Ibanez responce, but it speaks directly to the heart of why this thread was started.

"The bigger problem is the lack of dealer support to the customer, which is the front line. Support what you sell. "

I know Ibanez has taken steps to address this issue, and at this point this is probably their best foot forward. The situation where the customer has to resort to contacting the distributor instead of getting satisfactory resolution from the dealer isn't acceptible, to us, or to Ibanez. These steps are being implemented in the US market, so hopefully the rest of the world will step up and follow suit.
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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-24-2001, 12:40 AM
 
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Rich has hit the nail on the proverbial head- Dealers. *That's not only the first line of "defense", but the first place 90% of people take their guitars when there's an issue.

Dealers have really stopped caring about anything that doesn't say "Fend*r" or "Gibs*n" or "Marsh*ll" on it. *$5 says your local dealer couldn't tell you difference between an RG and a PGM (Rachel can name all the J-Custom, JEM, & UV models. *Don't give me this "there's no info about them!" crap).

I think a "test" is in order for dealers. *Much like your drivers license (It's not a right, it's a privilege), with tests of ALL staff members- simple parts questions, simple model questions, ordering info, new policies, etc. *The test could be done every 6 months, and when new employees filter in. *Don't pass the test, you don't get a license. *I think Forum members could type up something nice. :-)

Try out my theory: *Borrow your friends Str*t and drop it off at GC for a new neck. *Watch the manager of the store rush out to shine your shoes while the strippers from the backroom give you a massage and offer you discounts on any second guitar WITHOUT a pointy headstock. *

Being shunned by a dealer because Ibanez is what fits me best is almost a form of racism. *Sick, huh?
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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-24-2001, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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It is in Ibanez's interests to do something and do something quick because if they do not then they will lose customers and they will be left behind by other more forward thinking guitar manufacturers.

I agree that the dealers should be more helpful but at the end of the day Ibanez produces the guitar so they should set up some kind of customer support system. I dont think people really care what way this is done as long as it is done.

A dealers test is a lame and unworkable idea, Ibanez cant even run a decent website, how the hell are they going to run a dealer testing scheme???????????
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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-25-2001, 07:21 AM
 
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Customer support via web is a serious issue which helps consumers to get instant support. Companies like Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, Rocktron, Fender and Warwick with which I had to deal with helped me regardless of the fact from where the e-mail came from. Ibanez needs a similar e-mail support organization. That's CRM 101 and is absolute necessary for companies if they want to stay in business. It's not anymore enough to build quality goods. Companies must be in reach of individual customers. Personalisation is the new way of things in customer support. I hope these guys read all the valuable recommendations in this thread! :angry:
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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-25-2001, 02:20 PM
 
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The sad part of this is that Ibanez could easily have implemented most of what Darren has suggested for little (if any) more $$ than they've obviously spent on the websites they have to date. Relational databases - when well designed - easily grow with the websites to accomodate more information and increased functionality. Ibanez could have chosen to pursue a database driven site from the beginning, with an eye to providing more and more web-based info and services as time and budget allowed, but they've chosen style over substance for their web presence (and they're not alone - look at ESP's US web site, for another example), and I think the backlash is probably real, if somewhat difficult to gauge in *their North American bottom line. If not for Jemsite, Collector's World and Jim's Vintage site, there'd be no way to find out any real, hard information about Ibanez guitars on the web. How hard could it possibly be for Hoshino USA to put trem setup info on the web, for instance? The Japanese site is slightly better than the US one, but neither meets the needs of Ibanez' customers on the web. Who ever established their hackneyed web strategy should be replaced, and quickly. *Probably with Glen and Darren *My $.02
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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-25-2001, 06:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Quote: from Kevan on 1:45 pm on Feb. 23, 2001

Ibanez does have a wicked customer support network. *You're looking at it.
I couldn't agree more. This is *the* leading Ibanez information database in, not just the web, the world.
Where would we all be without jemsite? Thank you Glen!
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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-25-2001, 09:45 PM
 
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This whole discussion should not be happening. Ibanez have no excuse for having such a pathetic support mechanism. It might be OK for people in the States who can pick up the phone and get a response but what about people outside the states?

It's just about impossible to contact Ibanez in the U.K unless you know who the distributor is and that is not easy to find out. The point is I shouldn't have to waste my time hunting to find out the distributor to get a problem sorted out.

As already stated by other people, many other guitar manufacturers have quality support systems setup. For example, the other guitarist in my band has a Jackson (its not even an expensive one!!!) he e-mailed them with a question regarding the trem and within 2 days they had replied and then they got a Jackson technician to phone him and talk him through the best way to set up the trem. They even send him out a goody bag containing brochures and a T-shirt.

I am really disappointed with the way I have been treated by the guitar store I bought my Ibanez from. If I could get a decent price for my guitar I would probably trade in it for something else (probably not another Ibanez) but in the condition its in I would not get a good price for it and it is only about a month old. The thing that annoys me the most is that I have always loved Ibanez guitars and saved up for ages to get my RG. I had intended to eventually get a Universe and a JEM but what has happened to me really puts me off any future Ibanez purchaes.

The whole dealer test thing is totally unworkable. For GOODNESS SAKE Ibanez cant even setup a decent website how the hell are they going to set up a decent dealer testing mechanism. I agree that the dealers should be far more resposible that they are but at the end of the day they want to make money and that is the bottom line.

Most stores dont care if they sell Fenders, Gibsons or Marshalls as some people seem to think. They want to sell as much as they can they dont care what off. They may try to push products that have a higher mark up for them but I think people are being paranoid if they think that Ibanez are being discriminated against.

Most people even non musicians have heard off Fenders, Gibsons and Marshalls plus a lot of prominent musicians use these products so of course they are going to be the very popular.

Some of you guys out there are so biased it is unreal. I'm not trying to start an e-fight but come on if someone has a problem with Ibanez, experienced people should be trying to help them and not treat them like a lepper.
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