Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Planner companies who listen to their customers

I have decided I will no longer spend my hard-earned money on planner brands whose companies do not listen to their customers. I should not have to fight with a company to be listened to.

So instead, I am going to list companies who listen to their customers, provide positive dialogue, and go out of their way to make their customers happy.

Quo Vadis really stands out as a company who goes the extra mile to listen to their customers and make us happy. They have an excellent blog where they create a real dialogue with customers. They ask us what's important to us, what we need and what we like. They bring back planner formats due to popular demand. They interact with customers on Twitter. Dealing with Quo Vadis is like chatting with a friend. They are awesome.

Paperblanks also interacts well with customers via their blog, Facebook and Twitter. They are fun to chat with and I love seeing their new designs.

Uncalendar is a small company run by real people who do excellent customer service at a human level. They love their customers' comments so much they post them *all* on their website.  They recently joined Facebook too.

Brush Dance is run by great people who really care about their customers and are passionate about their (wonderful) products! They also communicate directly with their customers via their blog, Twitter and Facebook.

WeekDate is another company who communicates directly with customers and does everything in their power to make us happy.  I love getting their time management tips on Twitter and Facebook.

Success Choice is another small business run by real humans who really listen to their customers and make changes to their products based on customer suggestions. Their products are of the highest quality and designed to enrich your life.

Personal Planner UK is run by really nice folks who offer the ultimate in totally customized planners. You can find them on Facebook too.

There are a lot of excellent planner companies out there!  What planner companies have you had positive experiences with?

18 comments:

  1. This list of companies should appear as a 'Top 10 or Top 5' in your side bar. Review them every few months giving them marks out of 100 say marks out of 10 for 10 factors and publish the results in the side bar of Plannerisms.

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    1. Steve that is an excellent idea. I will get to work on this. It will be my Planners Honor Roll!

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  2. I have had excellent experience with Erin Condren. The company also dialogues heavily with their customers and each year the planner is improved based on customer input.

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    1. I really respect companies who are willing to change their own products to make their customers happy!

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  3. Thank you so much for including Brush Dance in your list. We are really and truly workin' it over here. (And you've placed us in good company!)

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  4. I've rarely had the need to communicate with planner companies. But having decided to have a major overhaul of my planning systems this September I ploughed through years of your posts (thank you they were immensley helpful, not sure the husband is so pleased though!!) I have purchased from Quo Vardis, Uncalendar, Erin Condren and Personal Planner UK. All provided exemplary service, kept me up to date with the progress of my order and took the time to reply to my email of thanks. I'm now a convert to all four and have in the last week brought three people into at least one of the folds!

    Word of mouth is the best advertising and the quickest killer, listening to your customers is not necessarily easy, we can be a fickle and demanding bunch, but for those companies that do manage it the reward of loyalty is well worth the effort.

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    1. While I agree with that sentiment, that customers can be a fickle bunch indeed, I think when you look at the community of Filofax community (and other planners), you really do get the impression that we aren't asking for the moon on a stick. Some common complaints could be easily addressed. Take the paper quality of filofax inserts, for example. I still have a stock of coloured Red and coloured Green paper from 1984. It is about 5 times thicker. You can write on it with a fountain pen with no bleed through. Today's inserts can't even handle a 0.4 Gel pen. They are truly terrible. Binders that are sent from the warehouse with rusty rings. Unforgiveable. Binders with leather patterns that fade within 2-3 weeks (Filofax Chameleons). Binders with plastic coating that peel off after a few weeks or months, and look ugly. Binders which develop cracks on the spine, as the leather is bone dry. There is no excuse for it, it is basic quality management.

      I reviewed two Brushdance products here recently and the paper quality is superb. Very expensive looking and feeling, and handles all ink with no problem. And the people behind it are wonderful communicators. I have used Quo Vadis paper, and again, it is fantastic quality. This week, I bought a Rhodia Web something or other notebook, and again, with a fountain pen, it handles it no problem.

      The only way that companies such as Filofax will listen is when consumers vote with their wallets. I haven't bought a new Filofax binder in over 3 years, I will only buy vintage ones now,upto the mid 1990s, when quality started to go downhill. And I'm about to butcher the Rhodia notebook and trim it to Filofax Personal size. I don't know of any other product with a consumer-based blog presence like Filofax, and yet you'd think it was all published in deep space, for all the impact it has in Filofax Towers. Sadly, I don't think they will survive, and the biggest tragedy is that they could have easily done something about it.

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  5. Thanks for this list, it's nice to know that not only do these companies produce fabulous, good quality, planners, but actually listen to their customers too :o)

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  6. This is good, I like this praise the good ignore the bad, it's a bit like bringing up children...which is sad considering they're supposed be adults...

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  7. Just read the comment Steve, really good idea...

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  8. I am looking for my 2013 planner, and am going to look more widely than Filofax this year. I may still end up back there, but before I would never have looked. Thank you for the list of options!

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  9. Karen at Quo Vadis is amazing. I use a lot of index cards, and their 4x6 cards are amazing, good heavy stock, printed on both sides. I sent Karen an e mail and asked her why no 3x5 cards? Within two days, they were on the way from I assume France. Just amazing. Her company is much larger than Letts, but yet they can be so nimble. It is just a joy to deal with Karen and her company.

    If they can do it, you would think Letts could at least try.

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  10. I only have first-hand knowledge of 2 of them and I have to agree about Paperchase and Weekdate. Brilliant service and they know and love their product which shows.

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  11. Wow...thanks for this great list. I'm familiar with about half of the list and glad to be introduced to the rest. Brush Dance has some beautiful planners...I took a look at the Fearless Women one and wow...I'm trying to think how I can use this one in conjunction with my compact Filofax. And some of their others are pretty amazing too. I have been lurking over at the Success Choice website too for the past month or so. Glad to learn about some of these smaller companies who like us customers!!!

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  12. Paul makes some good points. There is NO excuse for binders leaving the factory with misaligned rings. Open the binder and inspect it before its shipped. If it gets damaged in shipping that's one thing or if the binder is overstuffed and the rings get wonky then that's on the user. But come on, new binders being shipped with paper stuck between the rings? And rusty rings? Don't get me started; that should never happen. And the paper quality, yes. Back in the day it was all about the paper; the binder was pretty basic. Now its all about a 600.00 fashion statement with scrap paper. Sad.

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  13. Paul makes some good points. There is NO excuse for binders leaving the factory with misaligned rings. Open the binder and inspect it before its shipped. If it gets damaged in shipping that's one thing or if the binder is overstuffed and the rings get wonky then that's on the user. But come on, new binders being shipped with paper stuck between the rings? And rusty rings? Don't get me started; that should never happen. And the paper quality, yes. Back in the day it was all about the paper; the binder was pretty basic. Now its all about a 600.00 fashion statement with scrap paper. Sad.

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  14. Laurie, thank you for this list. I have started voting with my wallet too. The majority of my binders are vintage or made by other companies. I make my own inserts on decent paper. It is so sad that a company with so much potential is throwing it all away. I have been using a Filofax since the 80s.

    Most recently, out of frustration and a job thatis becoming increasingly more demanding, I have been using Planner Pads. Good, dependable product. Very responsive to all corresposndence: questions, complaints and praise.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Laurie, thank you for this list. I have started voting with my wallet too. The majority of my binders are vintage or made by other companies. I make my own inserts on decent paper. It is so sad that a company with so much potential is throwing it all away. I have been using a Filofax since the 80s.

    Most recently, out of frustration and a job thatis becoming increasingly more demanding, I have been using Planner Pads. Good, dependable product. Very responsive to all corresposndence: questions, complaints and praise.

    ReplyDelete