When I arrive at work at 8:30 am, I usually hang up my purse, glance at the phone to see if the little orange 'messages waiting' light is blinking, ( it usually is..) then turn on lights, my computer, and finally myself by brewing a nice little espresso from the Kuerig for my daily latte.
Today, when I noticed the light blinking on my phone, for some reason I decided to listen to the one message before heading off to to the kitchen.
It was a customer. And she wasn't happy.
Now I can tell you, I am normally a very nice person, but having a conversation with a frustrated customer before having that first cup of coffee could be, well... a bit risky! Potentially spirited and possibly regretful!
But this woman's voice message seemed a little more urgent than the usual, so I knew I just had to call her back right away. She genuinely seemed frustrated and confused, yet, hopeful in her message -->"Hello, Mouthman?? ….Is it possible this is a good number, and that you can help me? I've called three times already! I'm really at my wits end! "
Well, I don't like to leave people hanging at their wit's end if I can at all help it… so no coffee for me- instead, I just sat down, took a deep breath and dialed.
Sue W from Baltimore told me she recently bought our shirt for her grandson from a catalog. When she discovered it was too small, she called the company for an exchange to one size bigger. They told her they didn't have any more sizes. They told her her only option was to return the shirt. Since her grandson had already tried the shirt on ( and of course immediately went into giddy chomping mode ecstasy! ), she was horrified to learn that she was going to disappoint him - a lot! The company didn't even bother to connect her to us- in fact telling her the shirts are no longer available. She was left in the dust..to fend for herself on her quest to find a replacement Mouthman shirt.
Now this lovely lady admits to having no relationship at all with the internet- so she looked to the shirt for clues. Bless her heart for believing that we DO still exist! She found our name on the tag, then triumphantly found our phone number through her yellow pages iPhone app. She called early this morning with no idea that out here on the west coast there are many of us who are still sleeping at 6am and nowhere near our desks! (although once I actually fell asleep at my desk..but thats another fun story)
I told her yes, of course we could help her! That we are the inventor/owner/manufacturer and yes proud sellers of our own beloved MouthMan shirts.
And that no, her grandson will absolutely not be left without HIS own beloved MouthMan shirt!
And how sorry we are that she had to go through that letdown with the catalog seller...
And that some companies aren't all that great at referring a sale- even if it is to their own supplier and at the expense of a maintaining a positive relationship with their own customer.
Needless to say, we had a wonderful conversation- we laughed and chatted like old/new friends. I could tell she wanted to talk- and we enjoyed sharing stories about how Mouthman came to be, our Journey connection, our families, our nationalities, and more. She shared her story of having Alopecia since childhood- having lost her hair as a teenager. She made fun of herself, yet all I could hear was how beautiful of a person she is. Not complaining just sharing and being gracious and extremely grateful for the time we were spending on the phone chatting it up. Her problem was solved by me insisting on sending her a free shirt in the size she needed for her grandson, on the premise that she please share the smaller shirt with another child. She got so excited to know she could do this, and immediately thought of giving it to her grandson's kindergarten class for their raffle- and promised to buy more shirts and tell everyone she knows to check us out. She even offered to send a note to the catalog seller who wouldn't take the time to help her, to remind them that indeed we are still in business and they should be more helpful to their customers if they want them to order things out of their catalogs in the future.
We hung up giggling, and promising to keep in touch as she told me how I absolutely made her day.
Well, Sue W from Baltimore, I know you probably cant read this, but indeed you made mine too. And then some.
And in case I haven't said it enough to all of our friends and fans out there who ordering shirts, sharing our story and rooting for our small company to succeed,
You all make my day too. Every day.
Now, time for my coffee!
General Manager/Brand Director.