Written by Ani Jigarjian, VP of Global Marketing and Business Development
By now, most of you have heard about the kind gesture e-commerce site Zulily provided to one of its customers. When the customer received her coat from the company, she realized the fabric would be a nightmare with the two dogs she owns (their coarse hair would get stuck in the fabric).
Zulily has a somewhat strict return policy-because they offer deeply discounted items, so all sales are normally final. But because of the circumstances, a kind rep by the name of Patrick told the customer he would refund her money. So when the customer asked about returning the product, he told her not to worry and perhaps consider giving it to someone in need or a local charity.
*Insert lots of fireworks*
I, like the customer, thought it was a joke. Could it be? A company with a HEART? A PULSE? During my younger years (a long time ago), I worked for retail brands such as Benetton and Coach, and customer service was always the priority. “The customer always come first,” as they used to say. Fast forward to today, and I’m quite shocked and unimpressed by the level of customer service anywhere. I’m referring only to the basics, like a simple “thank you” from a salesperson after I’ve completed my purchase.
The woman in the story said she is now a customer for life due to this experience. It goes to show the important role humanity plays when it comes to brand building and visibility. You can pour all the money in the world into marketing, but make sure to lay the foundation with your core values and beliefs – they can bring your brand so much gratification.
And remember, Zulily is an e-commerce company – it’s so much more difficult for online companies to build a personality or presence among heavy competition, especially without in-person interaction.
Hiring the right people and truly educating them about who your company is and what they stand for is extremely important. Make sure they understand where and how the lines are drawn. If everyone is on the same page, magic happens, and you are truly one.
In the end, a simple thank you makes your customers feel better. Listening to a complaint and sympathizing is appreciated. Being professional and kind as an employee of a company is respectful. And that young man who is a bagger at your local grocery store will never be forgotten by the older lady he helped by taking her bags to her car on that cold, winter night.
We all dread calling customer service – and there are some companies who are infamous for having terrible customer service – anyone else suffer from Comcasthma? However, there are many that have gotten it right. I commend all the brands who feel they have a responsibility to truly make their customers happy and to ensure they feel good about where they’re shopping. Thank you to companies like Trader Joe’s, Zappos, Whole Foods and Amazon.com. These brands listen and do their best to solve problems – it certainly makes me want to come back over and over again. I’m not afraid to make purchases, because if something goes wrong, you get it. You’ve got my back.
The human touch is just the best, isn’t it? Thank you Zulily for being, well, kind and just, normal. Have you had exceptional customer service recently? To read the full story, click here.