Craig, I give up. I can`t seem to get thru that the size of the business or number of employees make no difference when it comes to doing the right things for customers.
To answer your question, if I had trouble keeping up with the workload I took on (remember the amount of work is a choice) then I would scale back my promise dates and not take any additional work until I was comfortable again. This guy isn`t doing the job of nine employees or he wouldn`t have the backlog.
None of this discussion has anything to do with the OP`s issue.
Let me make it as clear as I can.
CALL THE CUSTOMER with OCCASIONAL UPDATES. An email takes five minutes once a week. That would keep his down time to a minimum.
I agree. That's why El Paso does all my leather work. They say 12 weeks and it's here by the time 13 weeks is over. If there is a delay, they let me know.
I have over a dozen grips from Patrick Grashorn. We have discussed every one as to how much bark, etc. I get photos before he ships. I recommend him without reservation. He CALLED me to tell me he had some sheep horns in and did I want some grips.
I ordered my SASS hat from O'Farrell Hatmakers in Durango. Said three months. They CALLED me to say the felt they ordered was off color and it would be an extra month or two. Best hat I own.
Dealing with a well-known maker of base pins. SUPPOSEDLY he sent my base pins last week. Several forums have threads questioning if he is still in business. Phone calls are not returned, e-mails returned as "refused". I don't even know if he's in business any more.
It's more than customer service-it's common human courtesy.