Several months ago, I wrote a post about Adesso Albums and their use of word-of-mouth.  This month, I have another personal account of a company that recognizes the value of listening and acting on customer feedback. 

And the award goes to . . . Smartbody Nutrition!

I've been a customer of Smartbody's for several months now.  Every 2-3 months, I order a few boxes of Clif Bars, my favorite pre-workout snack, as well as protein powder for smoothies and other healthy snacks.  I became a customer thanks to a Google search and Smartbody's great prices, but I've been a repeat customer because they ship my orders quickly and accurately and always throw in one or two sample size packages of new and different products (I enjoyed a sample of Syntrax Matrix 5.0 protein powder so much that I ordered a 5-pound bag of it soon after!).  

Last weekend I discovered a new product at my local gym, thanks again to a free sample – Nuun Active Hydration tablets.  Drop one of these fruit-flavored tablets in a bottle of water, watch it fizz, and you have yourself an electrolyte replacement drink.  I loved the product, so later that day I checked Smartbody's web site.  Unfortunately, they didn't carry it.  I found other online retailers that did, but I wanted to buy from Smartbody because I order from them regularly anyway.  

So I sent an email to Smartbody Customer Service, suggesting that they carry Nuun.  This was on Saturday.  By Monday at noon, Rob at Smartbody had replied to let me know that they were checking with their distributor.  Having been ignored by the customer service departments of many other companies in the past, Rob's response alone was a reminder that I had made the right decision several months earlier in selecting Smartbody.  By Wednesday (that's yesterday!), Rob had notified me that the product will be added to the site by the end of this week!  They plan to see how the product sells before stocking it regularly (I plan to vote with my dollar!), but the fact that my suggestion was acted upon in 3 business days stunned me.  On the one hand, it's unfortunate that many customers have come to expect so little from the companies they regularly do business with.  On the other hand, as a repeat and very satisifed customer of Smartbody's to begin with, I intuitively felt that they would be able to help me out.  They didn't disappoint. 

So if you've ever wondered how to create a customer for life, follow the Smartbody example and listen to your customers.  Don't just listen though, act on their feedback and suggestions.  If they are willing to take the time to make a suggestion, they care about seeing you improve and will reward you for it. 

Now help me keep Nuun stocked on the Smartbody site for good!  

 

 

5 Responses to “How to Create a Customer for Life”

  1. Listening to the customer is the single biggest difference between a company’s success or failure. I don’t know how many of my highly educated, well experienced executives that I coach and consult with that have to be reminded of the very simple phrase….

    “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Always, and I do mean always, use them proportionately when working with your customers. They will love you for it!

    Great blog Brett, keep up the good work.

  2. Listening to the customer is the single biggest difference between a company’s success or failure. I don’t know how many of my highly educated, well experienced executives that I coach and consult with that have to be reminded of the very simple phrase….

    “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Always, and I do mean always, use them proportionately when working with your customers. They will love you for it!

    Great blog Brett, keep up the good work.

  3. That’s a great example of wonderful customer service. Gotta keep this one in my notes.

    I wonder if Rob pinged any other customers about the Nuun product; asking them if they’d be interested in it, or if he just went on your advice alone?

    Maybe Rob looked at your purchasing habits with them, saw that you were a repeat customer and that gave him the necessary oomph to make a move.

    It would be interesting to get his side of the story. Taking customer feedback is critical, taking it politely even more so, but I’ve also seen companies respond to every request and get buried in it, and/or get distracted from their main purpose/goal by catering to special interests. It sounds like Rob knows what he’s doing though; stocking a little bit of inventory to see how it goes before committing makes sense…

  4. That’s a great example of wonderful customer service. Gotta keep this one in my notes.

    I wonder if Rob pinged any other customers about the Nuun product; asking them if they’d be interested in it, or if he just went on your advice alone?

    Maybe Rob looked at your purchasing habits with them, saw that you were a repeat customer and that gave him the necessary oomph to make a move.

    It would be interesting to get his side of the story. Taking customer feedback is critical, taking it politely even more so, but I’ve also seen companies respond to every request and get buried in it, and/or get distracted from their main purpose/goal by catering to special interests. It sounds like Rob knows what he’s doing though; stocking a little bit of inventory to see how it goes before committing makes sense…

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