When the unexpected happens
I live in Oklahoma. It’s no secret that our weather is questionable, mercurial, and down right nasty at times. We also have some of the most beautiful sunsets, anywhere. In May of 2013, we had one of the largest tornadoes on record, ever.
This tornado was approximately five minutes away from my house. As it approached (before it changed course and veered off) my windows were shaking; there was an intense howling, so indescribably loud, it sounded like a train whistle; the skies were a very funny color of grayish, greenish, black, and the whole day was full of fear, texting “are you okay?,” and gratitude that myself and my family and friends survived.
Losing something well-loved
What does this have to do with business, right? I’ll tell you. On that fateful day, I left my beloved Oakley sunglasses in the car. They’re just sunglasses, but I got them for high school graduation. I clung to them like they were worth a million dollars because my parents bought them for me and we didn’t typically “splurge” on such frivolous things; so they meant a lot to me.
The wind, rain, and hail from that storm cracked my windshield and when the windshield collapsed, it shattered my glasses.
After cleaning up all the mess and thanking the good Lord we were alive, I decided to email Oakley to see if could buy replacement lenses for my beloved glasses. Keep in mind these glasses are thirteen years old at this point and their styles change often.
Earning customer loyalty the right way
I emailed them thinking well, maybe, just maybe, they’ll have some hiding in a stockroom somewhere. I received a message back from their customer service department in less than 24 hours. The note was personal, heartfelt, and polite.
They apologized that they no longer carried the replacement parts for my glasses, but offered me another pair, of my choosing, at a discount, along with a free case.
This gesture made me love the Oakley brand even more. It wasn’t their fault I left my glasses in the car, but they knew how much they meant to me. It probably wasn’t a big loss for their company to offer the discount, as Oakley sells a great deal of merchandise, but to me it was a huge offer. I was able to get a new pair of glasses to replace the old ones and I never leave them in the car. I will always buy Oakley glasses, not just because I love the brand, but also because I love their care, concern, and fantastic customer service.
What has a company done for you that inspired brand loyalty; big or small? What do you do for your own customers to keep them coming back to your brand?