While I look at a lot of gear at big box retailers like Guitar Center, ultimately my business goes to the two local shops near me. The reason is because of their superior and personal customer service. No one walks into those shops without the shop’s employees taking a look, even if they’re with another customer.
But it’s not just the attention, it’s also the little things that they do that keep me coming back again and again. For instance, Guitar Showcase in San Jose, CA has a lifetime guarantee on their in-house made cables. Last night, my guitar kept on cutting in and out, and I traced it to the cable that connects my pedals to the restaurant’s PA board. Since I have another gig tonight, I went down to Guitar Showcase to get a new one. Bringing in the old cable, I told the guy behind the counter my cable failed at a gig last night and needed a replacement for my gig tonight, and he promptly told me to get one off the rack.
Now here’s the cool thing. When he connected it to a cable tester, the cable actually checked out as fine. I said, “Hmm… looks like it’s good, but it was not behaving last night.” He said, “No problem brother, you got a gig tonight, and the last thing you want to worry about is your cable giving you problems. I’ll test it more later, and if it’s fine, we’ll just use it in the shop.”
That’s a little thing for sure, but it’s huge as far as customer service is concerned. That’s why even though I might pay a slightly higher price in the independent shops, I’m willing to pay it because of the feel-good factor I get from their excellent customer service.
My Favorite Local Shops