by Kristina Keeling
My fellow Innovative PR specialist, Nikki McClaran, shared a rather humorous email with me from a small company called Carved, known for making unique cellphone cases. In the email, Carved asked what it could do or say to get Nikki to purchase an item she had left in her cart. It included a picture of the Carved team and told her that if she didn’t like the item, the company would fully refund it.
The email was great. It showed that the company cares about its customers. Who doesn’t love that? Nikki did go with another brand, but the email had her strongly considering purchasing the item.
This email made me explore Carved’s website, Twitter and Instagram accounts and, let me just say, I really liked what I saw. The “Our Story” section has a video that tells how the company began and includes its mission statement. This video gives its customers insight into the culture and shows that it is more than just a small start-up. It showcases the company’s personality; serious, funny and relatable.
How it does it
Carved isn’t the only company using a personal approach with its customers. Incorporating personality into customer relations is taking off. There are many ways a company can use this approach.
This Bar Saves Lives is a start-up with a nonprofit partner. With each bar it sells, it sends a package of food wherever it is needed most in the world. This Bar Saves Lives’ website features a blog with recipes, what is going on in the company and how it “saves lives.” Other start-ups can learn from This Bar Saves Lives’ example, showing customers how it operates and gives insights into its culture.
Another way start-ups can showcase their personalities is through social media. When companies jumped on the social media bandwagon, fans would “like” or “follow,” but there was little interaction. With a better understanding of social media’s uses, companies (start-ups especially) are improving their communication with fans.
Carved and This Bar Saves Lives both boast active social media accounts, retweeting and replying with followers. It is always exciting when we, as fans, see our tweets being retweeted by a company. We feel like they are actually listening to us and want to know our opinions.
The “personable” experience
Carved is dedicated to providing “ridiculously great customer service” and it accomplishes this by being personable to its customers. You can read through hundreds of personal testimonials on its website.
Skimming through the testimonials, I noticed a customer voicing satisfaction after Carved wrote them a personal “thank you” note that had all the team members’ signatures on the inside of the case they purchased. Another customer voiced displeasure with the case they received, contacted Carved and was able to get new one at no extra cost. Going that extra step turns good customer service into a personable experience.
It isn’t just start-ups. Big companies understand that customers want great experiences. That is why customer service is so important. I believe it should be more than just a simple “thank you” after purchasing an item.