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Guitar Projects

The Haywire Custom Guitars-Project Selection Process

Every business wants great customers and the Haywire custom shop is no exception.
It doesn’t always happen but we’re thrilled when it does. It’s a minefield out there. Generally, we know nothing about a customer except that they have an electronic device and that they contacted us. So, we choose guitar projects and our customers wisely. And as a customer, if you want to be treated with respect then you’ll need to be a good customer. With us it is less about the project selection and more about “customer selection”. Importantly, we don’t work for money, we work for guitar players. Unfortunately, we do have to turn jobs down. While race, creed or political affiliation don’t enter into our selection process there are some red flags we try and avoid. Not all jobs are a no-go, but first and foremost, anything NOT listed on our website has much less of a chance getting approval.

you want us on the “playability” end

Do your homework on what we do before contacting us. Read through our listing of services. Make sure you know what we do.
If a player is looking for comprehensive repairs and extensive experience with lots of options then Haywire Custom Shop is the right place to get your guitar work done. We have customers calling, texting and emailing every day.
Immediately, it’s obvious whether they have taken the time to look up on the website what services we provide and if we can help them. If they don’t waste our time, we won’t waste theirs. For example, there is nothing on the Haywire
website regarding “repainting your guitar”. So please…. don’t ask us to perform services we don’t offer. There are two ends of the guitar work process. The first end-the “beauty” end. The second is the “playability” end of the spectrum.
You want us on the “playability” end if you’re a pro musician interested in a much better playing and sounding guitar. Our focus is on helping musicians become great by removing any physical and technical roadblocks. We’ve been there. We know what you need. Do yourself a favor and listen when suggestions are offered about what will be important to your development as a player and performer. In order to have happy customers, we need to provide excellent outcomes on all of our listed services and guitar projects. They are too numerous to mention here. After all, this article is not an ad for our website. If someone calls for “clarinet” repairs, suffice it to say-they are not going to be happy campers.

A customer doesn’t have a second chance to
make a first impression

We have to be selective in what projects we take on. So, first and foremost is how the player approaches us in his/her request. Do they communicate well? Do they know how to email properly? Do they answer the
emails we send back immediately or wait a long time? How is their attitude? Are they polite? Or, are they demanding divas? Do they have a bad rep? In this preliminary back and forth we get a good idea. A customer doesn’t have a second chance to make a first impression. And we don’t have to choose to work with every customer.

Our Guitar Projects:

Fortunately, throughout the years, we have had to decline only about 20% of customers who contact us regarding guitar projects. Why would we decline to work with a customer? One reason is previous experience. If we have a good experience then it’s an enthusiastic sure go on the next project. Likewise, if they have a good experience, we’ll see them again. If a player is uncooperative, we may say no. We want the best possible outcome for projects but if a player cares less about the guitar project than we do, we won’t do it. A red flag always goes up if we have to send an invoice more than once to a customer to start a guitar project they initiate.

Customers who procrastinate are always red flags

We specialize in doing things that other guitar custom shops are unwilling or unable to do.
Therefore, if the project involves building something already commercially available and someone wants it copied at a better price then we decline the project. Customers who procrastinate are always red flags we try to avoid.

help me understand what the end product will look like

We are looking to help guitar players complete worthwhile successful projects. A project fraught with problems or that is not presented to us in a clear and concise way that we can understand is declined.
If I can’t visualize the outcome, which is rare, I’ll ask for a sketch or detailed drawing to help me understand what the end product will look like. If a customer can’t or won’t provide that then it’s declined. The builder needs to see what they see. Building in failure to a project in the Haywire Custom shop is not an option.

we don’t want to build in failure to guitar projects

Sometimes when a project is pitched to us and there is down time in the shop we’ll tell the customer, “Hey it’s a good time to get this done because we can devote all of our attention to it”.
As some projects take much longer to complete, we know a happy customer is one who doesn’t have to wait long.
It becomes a successful project candidate immediately. If a customer procrastinates and we get busy, then the likelihood of a successful project at an extremely busy time is much less. So, when we make suggestions to customers, try to hear us the first time. Again, we don’t want to build in failure from the start.

Be a good customer, it’s not hard

We try and help players. But if they already have a luthier, we’ll decline the project. If we do work for players then they take it to their luthier for inspection, we will decline future projects. If the luthier disassembles it then we void our work warranty and it becomes the NEW luthier’s future project. We don’t want to get caught up in a dogfight. Players looking for cheap used instruments many times come to us. If we sell them an instrument and they complain about scratches, dents or dings and say nothing about the setup, sound or playability then they are not the kind of customer we’ll work with in the future. Be a good customer, it’s not hard. It’s all about being a better player.

Haywire Custom Guitars Hollow Body Electric guitar
Haywire Custom Guitars Guitar Projects

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

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