Quieting My Hanger

If you work alongside me in the firesphere you know two things:

1) I have an odd obsession with promo item vendor 4imprint. We order a lot of goodies here at Brains on Fire (as you can see) and finding a partner you can trust makes it a lot less scary when you are awaiting an entire room worth of product delivery.

FedEx was not happy that this room exists in the BACK of our office.

FedEx was not happy that this room exists in the BACK of our office.

2) I get hangry. Real hangry. Just ask the people at our local Jimmy John’s when the subs are not so fast. This hanger turns into a blind rage that does not always make me an ideal person on the end of the phone in a customer service situation.

Okay- what does this all have in common? Gimme a minute- I am a winded storyteller.

My borderline obsession of 4imprint came about from what could have been a hanger-debacle. We had a giant order coming in that had to be broken apart and dispersed to 10 different venues across the country. As Murphy Law dictates, something went wrong. We had no pens. Of 18,000 pens on order, we had 2,000. This was a “less than ideal” situation.

You may notice there is a lacking of pens in this picture.

You may notice there is a lacking of pens in this picture.

However, what could have turned quickly into hangry Vicky (she is not pretty) turned into one of the greatest moments in solutions based customer service thanks to a phone call with Jen Liedke. Jen calmed me, reassured me and helped bring a resolution to the whole matter. And what really won me over, she checked in on me after. I was so impressed I sent a letter to the President to say thank you. Best part- I got a response:

I’m very proud of Jen and crew, but it is so wonderful to get an email like this. It reaffirms to me that we’re doing the right thing for our customers when the chips are down – and to me that’s when really get to see what people and companies are all about!

This was over two years ago. I still know her name. I still have the email. I still go there any chance I get.

The experience could have quickly turned into an I WILL NEVER SHOP HERE again scenario. But instead, I felt understood rather than being contained. I knew that this person in Minnesota was working just as hard as I was to fix this for our now mutual client. As a result, I am a forever client. And I spread positive WOM for them any chance I can.

This is me and positive WOM. And yes- that is a temporary tattoo.

This is me and positive WOM. And yes- that is a temporary tattoo of their logo.

I go to the mat for this company any chance I can get. You can get widgets, cups, buttons, etc from a variety of different places but do they have your back when you are in trouble? Do they work with you to bring a resolution or do they leave you out in the cold?

How do you listen to your customers? Their complaints? How do you turn their frown upside-down? How do you walk with your customers to turn them into forever clients?