Customer support done right

In a recent posting by David in the thread about the swim platform hatch covers he suggested a standard for the treatment owners should receive; borrowing his words, I’ll refer to it as “the magazine editor standard”. It’s an interesting construct and I’m sure we each instantly understood what he was suggesting.

Because that thread related to a problem with swim platform hatch construction and Jet Tern’s response, which at least initially seemed clearly inadequate (Stan’s most recent post suggests a turn-around on that), I thought it worthwhile to also report on service and support done well.

My Selene 59 is still in commissioning and the commissioning has gone on longer than anyone - us, our dealer, or Howard - expected or hoped. The delay has related principally to propulsion issues which the engine manufacturer has only recently moved to address. But one of the constants in my experience so far has been the exceptional support and energetic advocacy I’ve received from my dealer, Chuck Wistar of Selene Annapolis and thru him, from Jet Tern as well.

Certainly, during commissioning a number of items have arisen which, frankly, should have been addressed before the boat shipped but, in every case, Chuck and Ian have made certain they were quickly resolved here.

Clearly there are some QA processes that need improvement at Jet Tern - improvements which will result in reduced commissioning and warranty expense for the company and reduced frustration for customers. But, for us, the dealer support we’ve received has entirely mitigated the issues we’ve had to address after the boat arrived in the U.S.

The boats are beautiful, innovative and Howard has made his willingness to customize them a hallmark of the business. I’ve been singularly impressed with his strong and sincere desire to continuously improve the Selene product. The boats aren’t perfect; the company’s control systems certainly aren’t perfect. But from our perspective, all are moving in the right direction. And this owners’ web forum and the instant communications it affords will only help accelerate that process.

The process of building something as complex as these boats, half a world away, with the language complexities added to the mix has the potential for huge problems. But that was not our experience. From long before we placed our order we’ve had very good communications with Howard and he’s been open to and often embraced our ideas. Chuck’s counsel and very active representation and advocacy have been central to our enjoyment of the process and key at every stage. And we had the great good fortune to have the extraordinary Candy as our project manager.

For me, as a new owner - and this would apply as well if I was just now considering a Selene - the crucial question is how, when confronted with a problem, the dealer and builder supports the customer and moves to resolve situations…you might say how they make progress toward making “the magazine editor standard” apply to every customer.

I don’t want to seem Pollyanna-ish about this. I am familiar, in detail, with problems a few owners have had. Without question Jet Tern needs to continue to strengthen its QA processes for everyone’s benefit. The history of the swim platform hatch cover seems to demonstrate both a deficiency and, now, a willingness to correct it.

But I’m pleased to say that our experience so far has been outstanding. I’m writing this before we’ve taken final delivery and run the boat in the real world when, no doubt, a range of new issues will naturally arise, some requiring warranty service. I’ll keep Chuck’s cell number handy but based on my experience to date, I’m confident that if I have to make a call, I can count on the support I’ll need.

Richard Ossoff
Cronulla - S59-19