Great Customer Service? NYC Orthodox Jews at B&H

I’m not big on being politically correct “just because”. In fact, while there are places where PC behavior is important (no sexual harassment, please!), shaking things up every now and then is a good thing. It’s how business change gets started.

That said, I’ll point out the life preserver here: I’m a New York Jew, so I get something of a pass both for using the phrase and for discussing the stereotypes that both New York City people in general and Jews from this city get thrown at them. I’m not Orthodox, though, so if I’ve offended you by adding that one to this discussion, well, you know where to find me.

Orthodox Jews in New York City aren’t known as the most forgiving, friendly, or forward-thinking people. Customer Service? Ha!

So why is B&H Photo so good at customer service? Because in a world undergoing constant business change, you can use business change and customer service to make more money.

I visited B&H a few years ago, and was instantly impressed. Customer service was on full display. You could ask as many questions as you liked and not feel as though you were bothering the experts employed in each department to help you out sell you stuff. And when you bought something it was delivered to the pick-up point from a back-end warehouse on a system of overhead conveyor belts that would make airport baggage handling systems designers jealous. And is fun to watch.

And while I was there for a camera, B&H Photo sells pretty much any electronic thing you can think of.

Now remember, this was years ago. There was no Twitter. Social Networking wasn’t even an idea yet. But fast-forward to now, and B&H is there, too, and in a big way.

None of these business changes are easy. Deciding what matters, how and when to do it, and putting together plans to enact business change look like challenges under the best of circumstances. And while that conveyor belt system at B&H also brings productivity gains and reduces disappearing inventory make no mistake that it represents a commitment to excellent customer service. And this from a group of people who, as I explained before, are more often associated with awful customer service.

Remember how important customer service is. And if you’re in New York City and want to be wowed by a model of efficiency, service, and the embracing of change, visit B&H Photo. But not on Saturday. That’s a change you won’t be seeing.