Uncompromising customer service = Bliss (Soaps)
So, folks who have followed this blog know that I know how to make bath bombs (or fizzes), have given a presenation at Foo Camp East on how to make them, give them away to fellow social media conference panelists, and mentioned Bliss Soaps, (http://blisssoap.com/ which is in the Capitol HIll neighborhood of Seattle. I had mentioned Bliss because they are such a great example of social capital (you can tell by their reviews on Yelp but ask any Seattle woman who has bought from them and you hear this sort of raving reverential tone)..
Well, over a month ago if you were on the Bliss customer list, you learned about some trouble that was happening with the company, and to rally back and stay in business they were offering essentially half off to their loyal community members. I wasn't planning on buying bath bombs but I figured Christmas was coming, I can certainly pack these into packages or suitcases to relatives.I bought about $100 worth online.
A bit later, an email was sent out from Bliss saying - wow, we are so grateful, but never expected this response - we are officially backlogged from all of your Internet orders, hope to get them done in the next few weeks.
As folks may have noticed from tweeted blog photos, I was then out of the country for the last 3 weeks and so didn't notice the stuff I had ordered hadn't made it yet (and in that sense also, no harm, no foul).
When I did realize this week the package never made it while I was gone, I sent off an email and said, hey, I'll drop by the store this weekend and if you haven't mailed it off, then I can save you the postage.. I stopped by Friday and despite posted hours, it looked like they hadn't opened yet, and chatted with another woman who was waiting and a UPS guy who assured us: those guys have been doing a lot of mailing, they are still around.
I'm lucky; I'm employed - I can eat the $100 if they had actually closed shop for good. But I had a pang: I liked these guys. I hoped to hell they weren't a recession casualty.
Today because of Christmas stuff, I didn't make it over to their store. Instead, tonight, the co-founder of the store, Chuck, HAND-DELIVERED my bath bombs to me at my house.
Chuck took off his shoes as he stepped through the front door, gave his profound apologies.They are still catching up on orders. He and the guy who is the front man in the store Phil, tend to be in the shop behind the retail part of the store, working on stuff. As a company, they are still working through the issues that made them have the sale in the first place. Chuck looked really tired.
Then he choked up in talking about how the community response was saving their business. "You can laugh at me after I leave," he said, kinda making fun of the fact no one expects the owner of a company at their house on Saturday evening - "but it's people like you that mean everything to us."
I told him Bliss is good stuff, and the community knows it, and I'm glad things are looking up. He shook my hand, put on his shoes, and left.
If you like bath bombs and go to Bliss, just keep knocking so they hear you in the back.
But if you aren't able to go to Bliss, but you do social media, or work with customers, or think you understand marketing - well, just think of Chuck on a Saturday night, fighting for his little company to keep going, and saying he's sorry in person to a customer he'd never met.
That's something for all of us to live up to. Live it vivid!