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!

Warmly,
Ashley
(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!

Dear Santa, I Want Books for Christmas!

I’m an avid reader and have decided that I’m going to read more business related books in 2009. So, I have compiled a list of 30 books that will be on my list or have been on my list. I have read some of these books but not all. If you read them and don’t like them, don’t blame me. This is just a list with no recommendations and in no particular order. For the record, I have not been asked by any of these folks to put their books on this list so there’s nothing in it for me.

 

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  2. Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World by Pete Blackshaw
  3. The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth by Frederick Reichheld
  4. What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds by Rex Briggs
  5. Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space by W. Chan Kim
  6. Working With You Is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work by Katherine Crowley
  7. Answering the Ultimate Question: How Net Promoter Can Transform Your Business by Richard Owen
  8. The Google Story: For Google’s 10th Birthday by David A. Vise
  9. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  10. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  11. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  12. Unleashing the Ideavirus: Stop Marketing at People! : Turn Your Ideas into Epidemics by Helping Your Customers Do the Marketing for You by Seth Godin
  13. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers by Seth Godin
  14. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom
  15. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott
  16. Marketing by Debbie Gilliland
  17. The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret: Building Your Business With Word-Of-Mouth Marketing by Ivan Misner
  18. Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Social Media Are Transforming Your Life, Your Work & Your World by Matthew Fraser
  19. Value-Added Public Relations: The Secret Weapon of Integrated Marketing by Thomas L. Harris
  20. HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business by Libby Sartain
  21. The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’sTransforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman
  22. Freakonomics Rev Ed: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt 
  23. I Can’t Believe She Did That! : Why Women Betray Other Women at Work by Nan Mooney
  24. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
  25. Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
  26. Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition by Guy Kawasaki
  27. Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson
  28. Facebook Marketing: Leverage Social Media to Grow Your Business by Steven Holzner
  29. How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn: Making Connections and Capturing Opportunities On The Web’s #1 Business Networking Site by Eric Butow
  30. Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc

 

During the holiday, go visit your favorite book store or library (the one you’re loyal too!), put your feet up and start reading.

 

I may start doing little reviews on some of the books I read so if you have other favorites, or you have a book you keep meaning to read that you haven’t, let me know and I’ll read it for you!