There are people out there who specialize in “Buzz Marketing” who will charge you a lot of money for what I’m about to share with you.
Doing the right thing will get you more customers than a new ad campaign.
Recently I’ve had a few very good customer experiences that went above and beyond what I expected from a manufacturer- so good, I’m going to share them with the world, and in the day of Web 2.0 when everyone can have a say, it’s a very good investment.
I’ve had two Lowel Pro-lights for a few years. I am not the original owner, I bought them on Ebay for a song- since the cords had been jury rigged by the previous owner. I had tried to contact Lowel soon after I bought them to get parts to rewire them but hadn’t heard back. I was frustrated, but the lights still worked. We had a lull in our shooting schedule and a new office manager who loves to “Get things done”- so I had her tackle the problem again.
Lowel said- send them in. Two weeks later- the lights come back with new cords- 2 piece this time, with cord wraps included. No charge! When the decision comes to buy lights again- there is no question about what brand will be at the top of my list.
Here is what they say about their warranty on the site:
About Lowel Light
In the event of a defect reported by the consumer within the applicable time period, if any, Lowel will, at its option, replace or repair the defective merchandise at no charge to the consumer for either parts or labor.
Note: the warranty on lights is only 2 years, and I’ve had these for over 4.
Another case of going above and beyond was Hans Grohe the German highend plumbing fixture company. The holders for my hand showers had cracked, and the heads had taken a few tumbles.
I was looking for just the replacements for the holders- but, instead was shipped 2 brand new shower heads complete. Hans Grohe has a lifetime warranty- and apparently stands by it. I will grant that the new heads aren’t quite as cool as the old ones, but, I’m just as clean.
The jury is still out on Zwilling JA Henckels, who promise a lifetime warranty on their fine cutlery, but seem to be confused about what lifetime means- when a handle delaminates. The knife is over 40 years old, and still is a great chef’s knife- however, the handle is coming apart. When presented with something as simple as putting 2 new composite sides back on the blade, they seemed to want to stall and pass the buck. Is it really worth it?
Detroit has turned to extended warranties as a way to compete with higher perceived quality of off-shore manufacturers. Millions are spent on touting 10 year, or lifetime powertrain warranties- yet, if the money was instead spent on making sure every owner felt that getting warranty service wouldn’t be a major battle- and that customer satisfaction really was the brand’s first priority- they’d probably be selling more cars.
Customer satisfaction may be the most overlooked buzz marketing strategy available. As these three experiences showcase how one customer can help propel your brand into the blogosophere for better or worse.