PHOTO GEAR by KRISS on 21 march 2016

AQUATECH WATER HOUSINGS CUSTOMER SERVICE I have recently ordered my water housing for some of our camera bodies and I moved from my original choice.
I have been looking around for months now and initially wanted to get the housing for our Nikon D4s.
Then after much reflection I decided to treat our Nikon D800 and D800E to this treat.
First because we have 2 cameras that can be used with the housing which gives us a backup option, then because we might get a D810 at some point which will also fit and because the D4s is probably already heavy enough to add a 2kg water housing to it.

So after reading lots of blogs talking to people around and meeting a stranger on a beach in Florida who went back home to bring me back his Aquatech housing for me to check (than you very much man !) I decided to go with that brand.
And so I started enquiring.

While I was still looking at an option for the Nikon D4s, I came across one second hand older housing originally intended for the D3 on the company facebook page.
They said it could be converted for D4s and so I asked them.
Unfortunately, by the time the first person replied positively to me, a second one informed me that it has already been booked and was no longer available.
I was disappointed but didn’t hold it against them.

Then the weather was really cold here and I couldn’t picture myself going in the sea with my housing so I left it on hold.
And then, an email informed me that that the company was launching a new base housing with fewer controls but the same build quality, plus a trigger and a lens port (which is of absolutely no use to me because it fits none of my lenses), and at half the price of a bare housing with more controls.

Again after much reflection, I decided to order one but chatted with one of their people on their real time chat service to ask if any modification could be done providing I would pay an extra.

My question simple : I wanted to know if one button could be added to the housing and for which price.

It took the guy 4 biased answers (the base housing was created blabla, and if you need more options blabla, buy the other housing) to finally tell me it was possible.
When I read that, I was very happy and asked how we could do that as regards to the online payment.
That’s when I was disappointed again, the gut told me I had to first order the housing, receive it, send it back with my camera to their warehouse for them to add the function.
Besides the complete waste of my time, that added up pretty much to the price of the housing with all the commands.
I just found this ridiculous and not at all customer oriented.

Don’t get me wrong the guy was very nice and explained to me that they had procedures blablabla.

Now I did order my housing after all because I desperately need it and purchased an extra lens port to fit the lenses I need (I will still receive the lens port I don’t need because you cannot change that).
This was a week ago and shipping was supposed to happen on the 15th.
Today we are the 21st and I still haven’t heard from the guys, no email to inform me of anything, no way to check if my order is on the way on their website… This is very frustrating again and I think this is my main feeling about theses guys so far.

At the end of the day, Aquatech seems to be a middle sized company, not a Sony or a Nikon or else.
They market a niche product and by judging to the very slowly moving number of housings on their website (they tell how many are available), they don’t sell 10 housings an hour.
I think they could really benefit from a few business tips and they would certainly get more business.

1) As regards to the D4s housing, Nikon is getting out a D5, you get a customer interested in one of your most expensive products and ready to order.
You feel this customer is hesitating and looking at second hand housings to make a little saving.
DO SOMETHING ! Offer a discount or an extra equipment, last time I checked the number of Delphin housings for Nikon D4 didn’t budge in 3 months.
You haven’t sold a single housing of this line it seems.
Wouldn’t you be better off loosing a bit of margin but still making money and satisfying a customer.
Be logical, a customer who can spend on a D4s and a housing is likely to bring more business in the future.
You want to satisfy that customer.
I just felt frustrated because I couldn’t get what I needed.

2) Why do you limit yourselves with ridiculous procedures as if you were a huge company manufacturing thousands of items a day ? You come across as a middle sized family type company and this is GOOD ! Have the service that goes with it.
When a customer is ready to pay an extra $250 for a button, don’t put them off by telling them they need to receive the housing overseas and then send it back with their cameras… Just get you hands on a Nikon D800 (you’re on the coast in California, that really shouldn’t be complicated) and do the modification.
You customer will feel they have been listened to, happy, special and they will come back.
By saying « no we have procedures blablabla » you customer at best feels like they mean nothing to you at worse that you’re crossing them on purpose because you don’t want to bother with their request.
Can you really afford to frustrate customers like that ?

3) Don’t come up with strict rules even on a package deal.
Your base housing is a great idea but first of all it’s either underpriced compared to your other products or your other products are over prices.
Customers are not completely stupid, and they feel cheated by such a gap.
Also, to avoid customers each requiring new options and so on and so forth you have locked your package deal.
This is understandable but not the best solution.
By simply adding an option to replace the undesired « free » lens port by another one with even as little as $50 off the desired port, you give your customer satisfaction and less frustration, and you make more money !

4) When you have an order, you should keep in touch with your customers, not let them guess if they will receive their order someday.

To tell you the bare truth this is really bad customer service and I feel you guys are selling your products because you’re kings in the castle right now.
There is very little competition on this niche market and you can treat your customers like that.
Perhaps you’re not even realizing it.
But right now I can tell you I have ordered your products because I had no other viable option, not out satisfaction.
I am actually for the first time in a while, buying because I need it and can’t do otherwise.
In no other case would have I spent a dime making business with you.

To finish the picture, I discovered today that you organized a contest to win a free housing on Instagram and I never was informed.

I think your products are good, you’re nice on the chat line and I don’t think you’re ill minded but perhaps you are short of business knowledge or at least customer knowledge.
Or it’s just me, one of the two !

Anyways, this is a critic, and as a company I think you should consider it even if it pisses you off and you think I’m unfair or whatever.
I am a customer, I am making you rich, like every little customer and you should ask yourselves if making frustrated customers is the right way to go.
There are lots of companies who do that, but they are huge, multinationals, I know you have agents in Hawaii and Australia and that makes you an international company too.
Only you’re on a niche market, and a difficult one !

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#aquatech #waterhousing #customerservice



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