Kickass Customer Service

Online retailer Shopbop is the latest to impress me with some kickass customer service.

It all stemmed from an unfortunate incident last weekend involving a wedding, a new party dress donned for the first time, and a faulty zipper that decided to let go upon arrival at the church. While I still had the tags, they were no longer attached and 30 days had passed since I purchased the dress...thereby breaking the rules of Shopbop's return policy.

Nonetheless, I emailed them to express my dismay and this is the prompt reply I received:

Shopbop

Yay Shopbop!

Over the years I've saved similar examples of kickass customer service (I'm in marketing, after all) and have finally posted them all here. They are mainly from retailers who assisted me while shopping (I'm known to do that) but one is a recent, unexpected note from Herb Chambers, after I took my car in for service.

There are other notes which I've neglected to save - like one from shoe retailer Zappos, who upgraded me to free, next-day shipping just for being a loyal customer (I love Zappos...and they're doing a great job interacting with consumers on Twitter).

But even with all the new media channels available to brands for engaging with their customers, sometimes an old-fashioned, hand-written note is the most powerful brand impression of all.


Travelers

We found ourselves in the Minneapolis Airport last week, where I spotted this fantastic digital board from Travelers Insurance.

Travelers2

It's a series of tiny red umbrellas that can be mixed up via the touch screen, and then resolve to the larger, red umbrella logo. Play the video to see what I mean.

Very eye-catching. And for some reason it reminds me of that old school toy with the metal shavings, Fuzzy Face.

Not positive, but think it may be from these guys.


In Defense of Twitter

"If Twitter were a person, it would be an emotionally unstable person. It would be that person we avoid at parties and whose calls we don't pick up. It would be the person whose willingness to confide in us at first seems intriguing and flattering but eventually makes us feel kind of gross because the friendship is unearned and the confidence is unjustified. The human incarnation of Twitter, in other words, is the person we all feel sorry for, the person we suspect might be a bit mentally ill, the tragic oversharer."

Thus writes Meghan Daum in her recent LA Times column, Do only twits tweet?

TwitterI'm a Twitter user, but I found her column humorous - criticisms and all. She's spot on in her description of how many people use the medium (e.g., to update the world on mundane moments in their days, like "I'm heading to the kitchen to make a sandwich").

But here's the thing: who cares what people tweet? If you find it boring and mundane, then don't follow it. I think most of the critics are harping on the wrong thing - blaming the content that is transmitted via the channel on the channel itself.

Jb_recon_telephone_1_m Here's what I mean: think back (if you can) to the early days of radio, or the telephone, or the home computer. When these new technologies came onto the scene, very few people had access, nor did they truly recognize the long-term value that the technology could provide. Take the first phone call: Alexander Graham Bell said to his assistant, Thomas Watson, "Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you." Pretty boring, right? Not enticing enough to make you want to follow his feed?

But fast forward 133 years, and no one would debate the value of the telephone.

I'm not saying that Twitter is as revolutionary as the phone call, but I am saying don't confuse the medium with the message. And don't be so quick to judge something that's still in its infancy. There are numerous individuals and companies that find value - and enjoyment - from Twitter. If you're not one of them, then simply go elsewhere.


Samsung Ultra Touch Viral Video

I was contacted by a member of The Viral Factory in London last week, the agency responsible for Samsung's new viral video for the Ultra Touch mobile phone. It's pretty funny; see for yourselves:

Everyone loves to watch/forward cute animal videos, and The Viral Factory added a big dose of humor to make this one a hit. Besides being funny, the video cleverly drives home Samsung's product message: many, many uses. The Ultra Touch is full of multimedia goodness: built-in digital music player and FM radio, high-quality video capture, 8 megapixel camera, GPS navigation with geo-tagging capability. All packed into a razor-thin 12.7mm brushed metal frame with 2.8" touch screen (and slide-out keypad if you prefer).

The viral campaign is seemingly a success: at the time of this posting has already had over 512,000 views and 258 comments (and a fair amount of mentions in the blogosphere). It's too bad that the Flash-heavy microsite offers up no method of registering for more info or where to buy. Seems like sort of a missed opportunity there.