The Purse of Loyalty

Human nature makes us let everyone know when we aren’t happy about a company, yet, rarely do we say how wonderful an experience was. Although not yet read, I’ve got the book “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000” by Pete Blackshaw sitting in my bookshelf. That should tell you enough (not about it sitting in my bookshelf, but the title). I guess it’s the “misery loves company” scenario. I have written about well done customer service leading to customer loyalty and I have a few more up my sleeve and I also have a few examples of horrific customer service. I’m in a good mood now so I’m going to tell you about a great experience.

This past Monday I was in the mood to spend some money so I went to Kate Spade at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. This is the closest Kate Spade to where I live and although it’s somewhat out of the way for me, I knew I wanted a new purse and I wanted it to be her line.

Tired after a long three weeks or so at work, I drove up to Palo Alto on Monday excited to find my new purchase. I walked into the little store and was greeted but to my surprised, wasn’t chased around the store like some other retailers do. The sales people were there if I needed them, but weren’t standing over me waiting to make their next commission. After searching around for a bit, I was approached by a very friendly sales associate who answered my questions and she was very friendly.

I ended up buying a great purse, got my green and white striped bag and took off with a big grin on my face.

Two days later (today) I opened up my mail and was shocked. I had a hand written (yes, hand written) note from the sales associate, Ashley, thanking me for coming in to the store. She wrote:

“Hello Maeve,
Thank you for coming in tonight. I’m so glad you found a bag that you liked. The XXX is very luxurious looking bag and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as your XXXX bag. I hope you can stop by for our apparel launch on August 13th. I’ll let you know about any upcoming promotions on the XXXX. Have a great week!

(insert phone number here)”

Seriously?! The sales associate actually wrote me a hand written thank you note and told me that she’d keep an eye out for the other bag I was looking at? Really? My mouth hit the floor when I read the note. It’s one thing to get a thank you note via email, but a hand written one mailed to my house two days after I made a purchase? And not only did she use the note to say thanks, she acknowledged my previous experience with her line and thought about my future with the line. In one 5 sentence note she captured my past, present and future with her product. She made me a person, not just a customer.

So many companies take their customers for granted. Remember, customers are people too. Treat them with respect and especially in economic times like now, take advantage of your great customer skills and go out of your way to make sure that you’re turning those unhappy or on the fence customers into loyal ones. For the customers that are already happy, keep them happy and loyal. It’s really a whole lot more simple than you’d expect. This is proof that a simple note that probably took Ashley three minutes to write (if even that) made a huge difference.

I am now a loyal customer. Granted, I love Kate Spade purses, but if the service stunk, I’d find another type to like. Ashley, however, made sure that I won’t be shopping anywhere else! Well done Ashley! Well done!


One Response

  1. Maeve:

    What a great story. Illustrates your point very well.

    Now I’m dying to know whether she really follows up! Is this just a note? Or a genuine expression of her gratitude to you and a real commitment to keep an eye out for you?

    If it’s the former, then it might ultimately sour what was otherwise a great experience. If the latter, she’ll probably cement your bond to her and to the store and the brand.

    Let us know what happens next!


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