In our last post we shared a story about a great venue tainted by terrible service. While we tend to stumble upon more of those kinds of companies, every so often we find a gem that makes us want to dance. Brenthaven is that company.
When I bought my laptop bag about 12 years ago I was advised to spend the extra money and buy quality from a good company. Brenthaven was one of the recommendations. Fast forward to today and my well worn dependable bag was showing its age. Frankly it had served me well and I figured its time had come. Remembering the lifetime warranty though I thought, why not give it a shot, even though my receipt was long gone.
On their website I could upload photos and send them my claim, so I did. Seemed very user-friendly. To my surprise I received a swift reply. The bag appeared unrepairable, and they offered to replace it with one at the same price I purchased if I just paid shipping.
As luck would have it the bag that most suited my needs was in a different class, their elite Broadmore collection. They offered me a close second as a full replacement (still a generous offer). I called their retail store on the other side of the country to get more details about the different bags, which validated my preference. The story unfolded:
- Customer service graciously made an exception and allowed me to credit the price of the last bag to the one I preferred.
- On their website the bag was backordered a month, so I called back the retail store where the salesperson had been so helpful, to apply the credit there, as they had one in stock.
- The manager couldn’t reconcile the code from customer service with her system to apply the credit. Rather than say no, she contacted corporate herself and found a way to make it work.
- By then it was too late on a Friday to catch the FedEX driver so my bag would go out Monday (hey, I waited this long!).
- That evening I got an email from the manager saying “have a great day!” with a tracking number: it went out that day.
For most of us the prospect of enforcing a warranty is akin to buying a car: prepare for battle. But this was a pleasure: people who not only stood by their product but made the experience a joy. Let alone their products are amazing. That’s when I had to check out their website to try to understand better what happened and why.
I read their mission statement and it made complete sense. Every interaction I had was their mission personified. Their products were similarly aligned. I was ready to write a glowing testimonial only to find it was already written by countless other raving fans. I don’t know where else I’ve seen such a love fest. I am forever a loyal customer and raving fan. My wife even bought an iPad case from them the next day.
In our last post we shared about a hotel chain where the manager lamented how you can’t get good help. I have no reason to think the difference between these two companies was pay scale. Here’s what made the difference:
- The story of the founding and purpose of Brenthaven is clear for everyone who works there. It’s embedded in their culture.
- Their mission is clear, and the employees live it.
- The employees enjoy over-delivering on their promises and wowing their customers.
- Employees are always helpful, courteous, and customer focused.
- Employees are empowered to do the right thing and are proud of the quality of their products.
- There is brand integrity.
None of these cost extra money. Great places to work come from commitment, clarity and care. And we love patronizing such businesses and telling everyone we know. What’s the downside? Perhaps it’s letting go of a business model born in the industrial revolution, and instead treating people as people, not as human capital, cogs in a machine, or prospects? Perhaps it’s discovering the power of “we” is much better than “it’s all about me?” Perhaps it’s trusting that just because something isn’t easy to measure doesn’t mean its impact isn’t real? Or maybe it’s just too simple a concept, like the golden rule?
Where does your organization fit in this story?
In our next post, part three of three, we’ll share the story of a client, a branding company rebranding “brand,” and how we used our model to shift how the partners work with each other and the impact that is having on their own customers.
MasterCoaches is all about creating great places to work
Great places to work serve all the stakeholders, from customers to shareholders to partners. We believe that people are the heart of any organization. They are your true competitive advantage. If you don’t attend to them, however, they become the monkey wrench in your operation.
We believe in expanding awareness and possibility for all people to feel alive, on purpose and connected to their greatest potential and possibilities. And we live this by creating great places to work, because that’s where most of us spend the majority of our waking hours.
If you want to be a part of a great place to work, we invite you to contact us and have a conversation. The roots of the word conversation mean “changing together.” We invite you to jump in and invent the future you really yearn for!