I wrote a few weeks back about how and why I gave up my fax number, and mentioned that I’d have a nice customer service story as a follow-up. Here it is:
Awhile back I bought a small tub of sour cream (Nancy’s brand – a local dairy) and, upon opening it found it was laced with grainy little bits. The sour cream tasted fine but the texture was unsettling, so I pitched it and dropped the Nancy’s company a quick email explaining the problem. I didn’t have my receipt, and it was only a couple of bucks’ worth of sour cream, so my highest expectation was that they’d write back and say “thanks for letting us know” and maybe they’d send me a coupon.
I did get that email, which explained that the grainy bits were protein something-or-others, and the writer asked if I could tell them what I paid for the sour cream so they could reimburse me. They also mentioned that they taste-test every batch of sour cream before it gets packaged and shipped. Overall it was a very nicely penned note, and I was satisfied.
I wrote back to tell them that I didn’t know what I paid, and a coupon would be fine if they had one, and I envied them their taste-testers job.
Then about a week later I received a big, bulky enveloped from none other than the Nancy’s yogurt company. In it was not one but three coupons, and a beautiful canvas shopping bag, AND a HAND-WRITTEN NOTE from Elaine Kesey, owner of Nancy’s yogurt herself, thanking me for my support. The postage alone for that package far exceeded what I paid for that grainy-but-otherwise-edible sour cream in the first place!
As a small-biz owner I’m confronted daily with one of the hard facts of business life: expenses. Customer service is just one of many, and happens to be one expense that (unlike rent, payroll, taxes, etc.) we are not beholden to pay just to stay in business, or at best we pay “in-kind”: we reimburse our dissatisfied customer with just what that customer paid.
But the problem is that we can’t put a dollar amount on dissatisfaction. Nancy’s yogurt demonstrated exactly what I hope Lunchsense will always offer: a genuine, heartfelt, personal response to every customer.
Please, let me know how your experience with Lunchsense turns out.