If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that one of the topics I dive into quite frequently is customer service. Most of the time, I’m bitching about a bad experience I had such as my recent post where I took on both Chase bank and Holland America Line.
Today I want to focus on a positive experience.
As an equal opportunity curmudgeon, it’s only fair to point out the positives along with the negatives.
Two months ago I ordered a nutritional supplement from NatureWise through Amazon.com. When the package arrived, inside was a sell sheet taking about the other products they have available through the big A and details on how I could receive a free bottle of the supplement I just received.
Since it’s not too often someone wants to give you something for free, I visited the link provided to get the free bottle as well as coupons for subsequent purchases via Amazon.
Around the time that my 30-day supply was ready for a refill, I received a phone call and the email below:
We received your request for a complimentary bottle of the NatureWise product you recently purchased on Amazon. I tried to reach you by phone and also wanted to follow-up with you by email.
Please call us back at XXX so we can hear how it’s going for you and confirm your shipping address so we can send you your complimentary bottle.
Our office hours are Monday though Sunday 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM Pacific time.
Please know that there are no shipping charges and we won’t try to sell you anything. As we said on our flyer, if you’re using our product and receiving benefit from it, we would love to support you!
We look forward to hearing from you.
NatureWise Customer Service
I wasn’t quick enough in responding to the email, so Jackie phoned again and we spoke for about six minutes. She was genuinely interested in how the supplement was working for me, asked about my experience with it, shared her own, and also recommended some additional products that I might be interested in. She also asked if I would write a review of the product on Amazon.com.
Within a few days, my free bottle arrived. Keep in mind, this bottle came without me having to pay a penny – no shipping charges, no handling fee, nothing.
A day or two after delivery, Jackie followed up with yet another email:
I hope this finds you well and that you’ve received your complimentary bottle of our NatureWise Garcina Cambogia.
I wanted to follow-up with you. When we spoke, you said you would be willing to share your experience as a product review on Amazon. If you have already done it, thank you! I’d love to read it and follow up with a thank you note. Would you be so kind as to reply and let me know what name or nickname you used to write your review so I’ll know which one is yours?
If you haven’t shared your experience yet, I would be very grateful if you could click the link below after reading this and take just two minutes to write a few sentences about your experience. All you have to do is click the link below and it will take you right to the review page. It would really mean a lot to us, and encourage others to give our NatureWise Garcina Cambogia a try.
Click here to share your experience
Thank you very much for your support. If there’s anything we can do for you, please let us know.
NatureWise Customer Service
There’s a couple things going on in this customer service experience I want to point out:
- Selling in the Box – I’ve blogged many times about how every eCommerce store owner should take advantage of marketing inside the box. Every order that left my warehouse did so with something inside it. Whether it was an ad-slick showing off new arrivals, a hot sheet with items on sale, a catalog, a promotional freebie, whatever…. no order ever left without some type of promotional piece inside that solicited a return visit to our store. In this case, the sheet tucked inside the box told me about a free offer which I didn’t pass up.
- Collecting Data – Sure, I wanted that free bottle because it was going to save me $30 when it was time to reorder. I went online, filled out the form for the free bottle, and instead of just sending it to me (like most stores would just do) they took it a step further and used the data I submitted to have a person reach out to me directly. Interesting twist and one that definitely worked to their advantage in my situation (as you will see as you continue to read on).
- Personal Follow-up – Here’s how NatureWise uses an offer, data collection and personal followup to achieve their goals. In order to claim my free bottle, I needed to speak to one of their representatives in some form – whether by email or phone. In my case it was the phone. I was getting a free bottle anyway as part of the deal, but the representative used what she gathered during our conversation to see whether or not I would be a candidate for writing a positive review for their product on Amazon.com. Since I spoke highly of the product, she had someone on the line who would be a great candidate for a four or five star review, so she asked for it. If I expressed disappointment with the product, I guarantee you the request for a review would have never came.
- Win-Win – This is a classic win-win situation. I got my free bottle and saved $30. NatureWise got my initial sale, a positive review on Amazon.com and an $87 recurring monthly order for the original supplement I ordered, plus two more Jackie recommended during our conversation.
This was a positive customer service experience for me and I’m sure the marketing people at NatureWise are reading this saying, “this is exactly how it’s supposed to work.” There’s a lot that all of us can take away from this example and apply in some form to our own businesses.
But, I have some reservations about the request for a product review. As eCommerce store owners, we know very well how important product reviews are in the sales process. Data clearly points out that more and more shoppers are using product reviews to make purchasing decisions because they’re based on real-life examples of how the product works rather than scripted marketing copy that makes a Ford sound like it performs as well as a Bentley.
A product should have a mix of positive and negative reviews. One with an exorbitant number of positives may appear to some as being suspect. Looking at reviews for NatureWise products, I see that their goal of getting as many positive reviews as possible is being achieved, but I’m not so sure that will work to their advantage long-term as it may come across as “review fraud” to some.
So is it wrong to ask for a review? Absolutely not! In fact, go for it! In fact, go for a few of the things I detailed in here, as I’m sure you would love to have a $30 recurring sale turn into an $87 one.
I’m curious as to what your thoughts are about this customer service experience and the chain-of-events that followed my purchase. Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook page.