Unhappy customer = learning opportunity

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Unhappy customer = learning opportunity


Being the “people pleaser” that I am, it’s hard for me when a customer is unhappy with our product or service. Fortunately it is quite rare, but each time it happens we use it as a learning experience. This duo of husband and wife teams began this venture less than two years ago. For me, the connection was clear. I’m good friends with (and a former co-worker of) Ilan Elimaleh…the brains behind Otentik. He developed this awesome, novel product and we received one as a gift before they were even available for sale (7-ish years ago). After moving back to the US, we discussed importing and selling Ilan’s wonderful creation with our friends (and now business partners), who were equally in love with the product. And so our woman-owned-hubby-supported business was born!

The past year has been a wonderfully exciting, busy and challenging time for us. It’s a lot of fun sharing our collective experience with others. We have racked up a pretty awesome customer base and some really rave reviews. Our Amazon product rating is 4.5 stars and 5 stars in seller reviews. The drive for our business comes from wanting to share a simplistic, useful and versatile product that we truly think people will love. Not everyone does, though.

While unhappy customers are rare, they do happen – with all products. One thing that is certain, however, is that we do right by our customers and make ourselves available as much as possible, particularly for setup help. Usually, a few quick tips is all that’s needed to get people sorted out.

Of course, positive feedback makes us feel good! Constructive criticism, however, helps us grow as a company and as professionals. Here are a couple of constructive things we’ve heard recently, and what we’ve done to improve our product and service:

Problem: Customer had trouble keeping the sunshade standing in strong winds.

Answer: Better instructions with each purchase; setup help (video, photos, blog posts)

Problem: Concerns regarding durability & rust-proofing for poles.

Answer: We have worked hard to test out rust-proof options from aluminum, that do not sacrifice anything in terms of strength. And we’re happy to announce they’ll be available soon!

Problem: Complaints regarding amount of shaded space & height of sunshade.

Answer: More customer education regarding appropriate size for family; testing with different size configuration; offering extra poles for purchase, for lighter/no wind days.

In the past year, if there’s one thing I can say we do DAMN well, it’s customer service. We make ourselves available (to a fault sometimes). We listen to our customers. We make sure people are happy, and if they aren’t we address the issues head on. I am very proud of where we’re going and am excited to turn thousands of happy customers into tens of thousands. =)

If you’re happy with us, we’d love to hear it. And if you’re unhappy with us – we would STILL like to hear it!

Bring it on and #stayshady =)


Otentik USA | Big Kahuna


321 323 9138

  • Eric


    Great article. I’m a 2 year old startup and live on the beach in Palm Beach. Do you have a Black Friday promotion or a coupon code? I’m planning on ordering the Large Orange

    Eric 561-358-0301

    • Shawn Stewart


      Hi Eric! We are currently offering a free upgrade to 2nd day shipping with no promo code necessary. We don’t offer discounts on the sunshades but promise to get it to you super quickly 🙂

    • Ella Ran Post author


      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for the feedback! You’re actually not too far from us. =) We’re located in Deland! We had a promotion of free upgraded shipping to 2nd day. I’d extend that for you if you haven’t ordered already. Just give us a call! 321 323 9138
      Otentik USA

  • Johnathan


    Greetings from under the Texas sun! After much thought, i do believe It’s time to retire the old umbrella. We’ve had a good run, but I’m really tired of having to run after it when the wind picks up
    I’ve been reading about these sunshades, specifically the Otentik Big with a couple of extra poles. Anything y’all can do to sweeten the deal? Thanks!

    • Ella Ran Post author


      Hi Johnathan, Thanks for reaching out! We’d love to see you out there relaxing with a sunshade. We are moving things over to our new website, where we have free (and fast) shipping. Go to outsidersusa.com and choose standard shipping, which should arrive in 3-4 business days to Texas. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us! 321 323 9138

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