When it comes to getting your next commercial ice machine, do you really, really want reliable post sale service? Is quick and competent ice machine service an important factor in the purchasing decision? Of course, nearly everyone will respond affirmatively, after all, who wouldn’t want excellent support for a piece of equipment that is so integral to creating a positive customer experience, especially when one considers the overall temper-mentality of commercial ice machines as a food service equipment segment in general.
Yet the facts just do not support this conclusion. An ever-increasing number of commercial ice machines are purchased through online websites, where the primary driver is price. There is nearly no other reason that these sites can even exist, as the business model is based on search engine optimization, not product knowledge, not customer support.
These marketing companies own no service vans, employ no refrigeration mechanics, administer no warranty claims and stock no parts. Oh, and if they did, it probably wouldn’t matter because they DON’T EVEN ANSWER THE PHONE. Good luck even trying to find a phone number, which has now become the Where’s Waldo of websites. That’s because it takes people, real carbon based life forms who earn salaries, to talk to customers.
At Icesurance, we answer the phone, and there are no shopping carts on our website. That’s because when a customer is going to spend thousands of dollars on a commercial ice machine, we believe that he or she is entitled to knowledgeable assistance to review some options and help select a machine that makes the best sense for their specific application and budget. And we also believe that the same customer is entitled to talk to somebody who is courteous and competent to orchestrate any required service if and when they have a problem with that machine down the road.
So, in conclusion, I’m not a believer in buying ice machines from an electronic collection of programming code that has no ability or desire to process the demand, the operating conditions, and the urgency of repair. However, one product that is surely made for internet sales is books. So if you decide to buy an ice machine that may or may not be the right fit, you might want to buy a refrigeration text book as well. At least the book won’t break down next year.