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When a Human Touch (and a Love for Pets) is Good for Business


It's long been accepted that a customer who has a good experience with your brand will tell other people. But, a customer who has a bad experience with your brand will also tell people — and they'll tell ten times more people. Ten times!

Social media has made this phenomenon exponentially more impactful. Not only is the reach dramatically increased, but every other customer with a gripe can air it as a comment to the original complaint. A dissatisfied rant on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter can blow up in a brand's face.

But, there is an upside.

If a customer has an experience that's unexpected and truly extraordinary, that can get similar if not the same amount of traction online. This week, we saw a great example of this.

A gentleman named Nolan posted a story about an interaction he had with the pet supply delivery business He wrote:

I have to give a big shout-out to Chewy. My dog passed away the other weekend and I forgot to cancel my autoship order. I emailed them to see if I could return it, and here was their response. They've got a customer for life in me. This is also a great reminder that if your company isn't providing service this good or better — you're doing it wrong. 

He then included a picture of the email he had received. It read:

Hi Nolan,

Thanks for reaching out. I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I know this may be hard for you and your loved ones, but please know everything will be okay. What was their name? I know your furbaby brought you so many good times and now has left you with so many good memories. My heart truly goes out to you, and I wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time.

Lovely, right? But, it goes further ...

So please feel free to send in photos of the furry friend who stole your heart. I'd love to pass them around the office to honor their memory.

Wow. Then (and only then), the email gets down to business ...

Rest assured I've processed a refund for $37.43, and that'll reflect back to your bank account in 3-5 business days. As for the food, feel free to donate it to a local shelter or rescue on behalf of your furbaby.

Have a nice day, and let us know if you need anything at all!

Well wishes.

Lashonda R.
Customer Service, Chewy

As he declared in his post, Nolan is now a customer for life. But, there's more. His post was liked more than 13,000 times and generated more than 600 positive comments. That's priceless word-of-mouth. And, Lashonda's heartfelt response jibes perfectly with Chewy's brand personality.

In the company's mission statement, they say, "Our success is measured by the happiness of the people and pets we serve, not simply by the amount of pet supplies we deliver. That’s why we continue to think of outside-the-Chewy-box ways to delight, surprise, and thank our loyal pet lovers."

Well done.

What's in a Name?
Mailbox Monday

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