One of the hallmarks of great customer service is down to a simple, fundamental thing – personalized service. It heartens and endears the service provider to the customer.

I have been an avid photographer since my teens, and I have tried my hand at SLR cameras, medium-format (645 and 6×6/6×7) TLRs and SLRs, and then onwards to a wide spectrum of digital cameras from compacts, DSLRs, rangefinders, and so on. I am especially attracted to photography because my eyesight is not getting any better, and capturing sights (and sounds) on my cameras help me retain the memories of places and people I have experienced.

Recently, I got hold of the Fujifilm X100S camera, the successor to the earlier X100. It is a beautiful fixed-lens camera, but it could do with a better grip (even if it does change the visual look of the camera). I found a custom-made hand-grip case for the Fujifilm X100S, from J.B. Camera Designs, and decided to order it.

The product, called “GRIP-CASE“, was hand-poured, and hand finished. It is made by the boss of J.B. Camera Designs in the U.S.A., by hand! There is a simple and authentic feel to the product, and speaks to us photographers in an honest way. After all, J.B. himself is a passionate photographer (its on his website).

When the product came, it came with a printed “thank you” note, and a personal handwritten short note from J.B.. The printed note said:

“Thank you for purchasing one of my custom Grip-Cases. I hope you enjoy the simple features and the added grip and protection as much as I have with my own cameras… I carefully hand sand the edges of each Grip-Case to give a unique texture and distressed look.”

And on the shipping note, J.B. signed off in pencil:

“Thank you Dr. Phan! – J.B.”

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It was a simple one-liner, but spoke volumes about J.B. Camera Designs. J.B. may be a small business, but he respects his customers and respects himself, to pen down his “thank you” personally to every customer. I am just a “small” customer to him, but he took the time to pen the note nonetheless.

This, to me, is personalized service. It is great service from one human being to another fellow person. It touches the heart of the customer, and the customer is more likely to re-order again, and at the very least, refer the service provider to others.