I love to receive great examples of outstanding customer service. I’m always on the lookout for great stories, whether I personally experience them, or they are sent in by our followers. What I share with you today is a great example of personalized and proactive communication. While I provide the lessons, the example comes from one of our subscribers, Dawn Mushill, who shared a letter that BarkBox wrote to one of its customers.
BarkBox caters to dog owners and lovers and is a subscription business that sends a box of dog toys and treats to dogs – actually to the dog owners – every month. Recently, some severe tornados caused death and destruction throughout certain parts of the United States. This prompted BarkBox to reach out to its customers in the areas that were hit hardest. This is a letter emailed to one of the customers:
This is Rachel, and my pup Harper, with the Happy Team here at BARK. We’ve been following the news reports on the severe tornadoes that impacted your area and wanted to reach out.
While our mission is to serve dogs and make them happy, you and your family and friends’ wellbeing is equally as important to us. All of us here at BARK are thinking of you and your loved ones and hope that you are safe.
If you need anything at all or know of any pups affected by these tornadoes who might need assistance, we are here to help. We have Bark Eats meals set aside to ship out to pups in need of food. Feel free to reply to this email to get in touch with our Happy Team, who can help get this set up.
We are keeping our eyes on the news and keeping you, your pups, and your community in our thoughts. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you!
Rachel & Harper
Several lessons from this letter:
This is proactive communication at its best. BarkBox reached out with an offer to help if needed.
The letter was timely. Immediately after the tornados caused destruction and damage, the letter showed up.
The perfect touchpoint. Any time you interact with a customer is a touchpoint. Finding ways to do so outside of the normal process, where you endear yourself to your customers, is a great opportunity. This was the perfect time to engage with the customer.
The message from BarkBox wasn’t about making a sale. It was about showing care. Just acknowledging that the customers might be in trouble and reaching out to them was a great way to show appreciation.
And finally, the most interesting lesson: It was personalized, kind of. Personalization is a hot topic and a powerful way to connect to the customer. But this level of personalization, while extremely powerful, was a result of the customer’s zip code more than anything else. In other words, it’s mass personalization. BarkBox simply sent this letter to all of its customers in the zip codes that experienced potential storm damage. But look at the impact! I’m sorry if I just revealed how the magic trick works, but it’s so good, and it’s something we can all do, that we need to be reminded how simple it can be to personalize the customer experience.
BarkBox gave us a perfect example of showing how to use timely proactive communication and personalization to create a better customer experience.
(Copyright © MMXXI, Shep Hyken)