You’re probably not interested in the details of our home improvement nightmare. Before getting to the marketing point some background will help showcase how the @Lowes Twitter team truly believes in their corporate mission and that they understand how to use social media to grow their business.
What Happens When Every Door is a Custom Door
We had to replace our front door. After deciding to work with the team at Lowes we then had to choose a style, color, glass etc. BTW – there are way too many options and decisions to make with in regards to a door but I digress. It is worth noting that due to our specific situation we required a custom door. After this experience I believe most front doors are custom doors but that is a topic for another time…As you might expect a custom door is not “inexpensive”.
Custom Door Versus Customer Service
Since we required a custom door and there were many decisions to make (all of which impact the price) you have to work with someone in the department to help customize and quote the door options. The trouble is that you can’t make an appointment and if you show up at your convenience there is a good chance you will wait 45 minutes to speak with someone. This was our issue on more than one occasion. On the last visit, when we were basically ready to sign and buy our door, all hell broke loose in the department when associates started leaving or switching customers causing additional delays and confusion. Lots of little things contributed to the issues but the store manager was unhelpful (to say the least – we later learned she wasn’t even the manager) and we were frustrated. Like all good marketers I turned to social media to vent and try to solve the issue with someone higher up within Lowes. We were minutes away from leaving the store never to return even if it meant starting over.
Twitter to the Rescue
Within minutes I received a Twitter response to my slew of messages (I was on fire). It happened to be Saturday night so it was a real shock to get such a quick response. First, there was a response and second, they were trying to be helpful. They apologized and showed concern for our issue (no one in the store did that), they escalated the issue internally and followed through with their promises.
My New Best Friends
On Monday I received a call from the area manager. He then had the store manager follow up. The store manager gave me his direct line along with his assistant manager’s number and promised to set up an appointment to finish our door at our convenience. Throughout this ordeal we had been dealing with one sales person who was going to be off the day and time we arranged to finalize our purchase. To our surprise this sales associate took time off from his personal time and came back into the store (which we later found out was his birthday) to make sure our doors where ordered correctly.
Follow up and Appreciation
As someone who can dish it out I made sure to publicly thank the team @Lowes and showed my appreciation for their help. I also called the Store Manager to sing our sales person’s praise since he went above and beyond for us.
Marketing lessons and take a ways for other brands using social media
- Listen more than you speak on social media; it might just help close a sale
- Deliver on what you promise
- Hire great people who believe in your core values and get rid of the rest.
- Don’t underestimate the power of social media in your customer service department. They might just save you a sale.
- Social media is 24/7/365 – figure out how to staff or manage to that level of service. If you can’t staff full time figure out how to manage expectations so your customers are not left hanging.
Social media does help drive sales. If someone tells you otherwise have them talk to me. Treat all the social channels as opportunities to “wow” your customers and you might just be surprised at the results.
Did you have a great social media sales experience? Let me know in the comments below.
PS – It might make sense for me to introduce the Lowes team to Teavana so they can share best practices…