The letter was titled, “Thank You” and if you’ve read my book, “Flip the Funnel” or even vaguely follow my rants, you would know that these are the two most powerful words in the English language and the cornerstone of the “A” in A.D.I.A. (Acknowledgment – Dialog – Incentivization – Activation)
The letter begins by touching on a key point on the journey toward creating a truly customer-centric marketing ecosystem: bad news travels fast, so when it comes to being responsive, we often react most to complaints -- and in particular, public ones -- versus actual compliments. We neglect our best customers, especially the ones who spend the most money with us. Our absolutely delusional justification is that it makes no sense to spend any money on people who already love us and spend money on us. Instead, we pour good money after bad in chasing “strangers” (first-time buyers) and “prostitutes” (competitive conquesting switchers.)
Wheeler continues by using very powerful words: “I am delighted to have you as a customer, you are fantastic.” Wow! I like to say that the word “fan” comes from the word “fanatic,” but we don’t treat our fans this way. Facebook is a major culprit in terms of associating “fan” with “like” when it is more about “love” from “fantastic” fanatics (apologies for the alliterative tongue twister)
Wheeler continues by offering a $20 voucher to use the next time I’m in the store. Even though he says, “it is not much,” what I really loved was that he made it really easy to use the voucher, and said that when I use the voucher, I will be “instantly recognized as one of our most important customers” and will be given red-carpet treatment.
What a smart way to associate a redemption voucher or coupon with VIP access.
The letter itself was a form letter of sorts. Nicholas’ signature was printed versus handwritten. Yes, I do purchase all my shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt, but I’m not sure I’m one of those Wall Street types with a walk-in closet of shirts the size of a small country. I do recall filling out a card with my contact details, but didn’t think much of it.
Certainly, most companies do a lousy to nonexistent job of actually reaching out and connecting with their customers who have explicitly given permission for them to do so.
Charles Tyrwhitt on 377 Madison Avenue in New York and other locations is not one of these disappointing companies. In fact you could say they are FANTASTIC.
Too often, we (customers, social media experts, article writers, book authors) vilify companies that do a poor job of customer service, but isn’t it time we laud the ones who buck this trend and demonstrate the sublime intersection of humanity, humility, passion and common sense?
Did you notice how I just turned the tables on Mr. Wheeler?
I’ve put a Jaffe Juice TV episode out on this, and for now, I won’t contact the company to tell them I am paying attention. Let’s see if they are listening and following through on their mail merge. I’ll also check back and let you know (when I redeem the voucher, because I am a fanatic after all) if I receive that red carpet treatment.
Well done, Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler, you Funnel Flipper, you.
Loyal customer -- for life!
Correction: Yesterday's Online Spin initially left out a link. It's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIbEXeb59lg, for the Mobil 1 commercial used as an example of how certain cars can find a second or third life as a taxi.