turning lemons into lemonade (and laundry detergent)

Jack Blog

May 25th, 2011 By Jack Morton

i recently made a purchase at soap.com, prodded by a 30% off coupon that i received in the mail.  seemed like the deal of the century (either that or i am highly susceptible to junk mail).  i had also seen some of their ads in the subway…fast delivery and customer service seemed to be their main angles, so i figured i’d give them a shot.

fast forward 3 delivery mishaps, and i began to think that maybe fast delivery was NOT their angle.  so i emailed customer service to ask them what the deal was, and got this response:

Thank you so much for your email.  I’m so sorry with all the difficulty with this order!  I see this is your first order with us and I just wanted to assure you that issues with orders are very rare.  I have contacted UPS to see exactly what is going on with your package…

so first off, brownie points for contacting UPS on my behalf…god knows i have no interest in spending several hours with them on the phone, repeating my 8 zillion digit tracking number 4 zillion times.  i think i had a nightmare like that once.

moving on, the soap.com customer service rep added this:

So, what I have done is set you up with another replacement that should be getting to you tomorrow.  I have also marked it as a VIP order to make sure it gets pushed in front of the rest of the orders today and I have marked to have it checked by our quality control so we can make sure everything is packaged correctly and avoid any further complications.

ok, wow, VIP…probably the only time i’ll ever be given that particular designation.

and then, finally, to top it all off, at the very end she said this:

For the inconvenience and all the trouble with this order, I have also placed a $10 credit onto your soap.com account that will automatically deduct from your next order.

and there we have it.  the icing on the cake.  sealed the deal…an incentive for me to want to shop again (and i actually might).  

long story short, what could’ve easily become a horrible customer service debacle actually turned out to be a brand-strengthening experience for soap.com…and even a potential repeat purchase.  in the end the entire experience underscored what they’re all about.

this is a stark contrast to other companies which have not done the right thing out of the gates (“United breaks guitars” comes to mind…search for it on youtube).

so the lesson of the day for all you brands out there is to ACTUALLY CARE about the customer experience and then represent how much you care with your actions.  novel concept, i know, but in the experiential world of today, actions speak way louder than :30 tv spots and celebrity endorsements.  consumers nowadays are NOT a forgiving bunch…especially when it comes to their laundry detergent.