When your company turns ten years old, it’s cause for celebration. And what’s a birthday celebration without a (cup)cake?
That was the thought process when Susan Guillory, the rockstar owner of Egg Marketing, ordered and sent Yummy Cupcakes to loop in team members like myself from afar into the festivities.
The problem? The United States Postal Service didn’t quite get the message that this party needed to be enjoyed in a timely manner or else (like any good party that goes on for far too long), it’d start to rot.
Here’s what happened.
Egg Marketing turned 10 in June. In August, I pulled my usual mail out of my P.O. box and caught sight of a key. It was shoved cozily to the side into a small groove. Apparently, before it was placed snugly into the box, it was knocked out. This key had been trying to get into my hands for two full months and finally, I had it.
I had no idea the package was coming, so you can imagine my delight as I rounded the corner eager to see what was in the larger P.O. box. The answer? A package from Yummy Cupcakes!
Without knowing who had sent the delicious-sounding gift, I raced home, heart pounding, worried the flimsy key had ruined everything. As I opened up the silver envelope stuffed with silver confetti, I saw it – four delicious jars of Yummy Cupcakes that had gone bad.
I’m a sucker for a little bit of sugary deliciousness, so I remained hopeful. I called Yummy Cupcakes in California and let the person who answered know about the situation. Unfortunately, two months sitting in a P.O. box was about a month and a half too long. My heart sunk.
Yummy Cupcakes isn’t an International firm. They’re a business that doesn’t need to be cleaning up the mistakes of the post office.
Yet without skipping a beat, Joe (the man who answered the phone) said he wanted to replace them. He wanted me to have the cupcakes that were intended for me, even if it wasn’t a mistake made by his company. He was friendly and giving, and just like that, he earned a customer for life.
What can Yummy Cupcakes teach your business about marketing?
The moral of the story is this: Exceptional customer service breeds loyal buyers. And, loyal buyers become brand evangelists.
There are two important parts to this.
First, the loyalty.
Next time I have a gift to send to someone long distance, the first place I’m looking is Yummy Cupcakes. When the new product reached me, I was impressed with it, but beyond that, I was astounded by their customer service. I hadn’t heard of Yummy Cupcakes before this, but you can be sure I’ll be using Yummy Cupcakes time and time again after this experience.
Second, the evangelism.
I have a bad, but common, habit of turning to social media anytime something exciting happens in my life. This situation was no different.
Immediately after I got off the phone with Joe, I posted to Facebook. I let my friends know about Yummy Cupcakes and how well they’d treated me. It was free advertising of the best variety for Joe and his team. He had a real customer giving an honest review to a network of people who trusted her, all for the price of a few cupcakes.
Joe didn’t know that I was a writer/marketer either. He had no way of knowing that I’d blog about the experience both on my personal blog and on the Egg Marketing blog. In fact, he didn’t even know who had sent the cupcakes in the first place. His only goal was on fixing a situation that he didn’t even have the responsibility to fix.
Next time something goes wrong with something related to your business (even if it isn’t your business’s fault), fix it. Give your customers an exceptional experience with your brand and in doing so, you’ll instantly earn their loyalty and give them a story to talk about for weeks, months, and maybe even years to come.