Keeping the Customer Revolution Alive at Lands’ End

by Barry Moltz on May 17, 2010

If you’re not satisfied with any item, simply return it to us at any time for an exchange or refund of its purchase price.”- Lands’ End Return Policy

I have always been impressed with the customer service at Lands’ End. They also have a track record of revolutionizing the service experience, including the first toll-free number as well as many online innovations such as Live Chat and Virtual Model. Their call centers are in Wisconsin and not somewhere overseas where you can’t understand what people are saying.

Recently, I had a chance to interview Aaron McAndrews, Internet Manager for Land’s End Business Outfitters. He had been commenting on my small business posts online through @LandsEnd4Biz so I wanted to understand more about why a well established retailer got into social media.

When did you begin blogging and having a Twitter presence?

Lands’ End Business Outfitters has been on Twitter since January 30, 2009 and went live 6 months later.

Why did you start doing this?

When we joined Twitter,  our clients were already part of the conversation. Because customer service is so important to Lands’ End, we felt strongly that we needed to provide as many outlets as possible for our customers to communicate with us. Members of the B2B audience want to address concerns immediately. Twitter gives them a great outlet for doing so.

Who do you follow?

Confirmed customers, people who have reached out to us with questions, experts in marketing, event planners, promotional industry (including sponsorship experts, PR professionals) – anyone who might have information we could pass on to our customers.

How do you use Twitter to promote customer service?

Twitter gives us a connection that is accessible anywhere. Customer service is a Lands’ End hallmark. Finding other examples of great service and learning new ways to reach out to customers – that’s the best part about being on Twitter. It’s instant feedback without boundaries. Customers seem to be more open to say “hey, this isn’t working” faster without the extra step of calling our service people. On the other hand, they’re also faster to express their excitement about a great experience.

Twitter is all about being where our customers are. Small business owners in particular look for advice from all sorts of places.

Do you have specific stories to share on how your work on Twitter and with your blog has assisted in helping your customers?

Here’s a great story to share. Lots of companies read blog comments (naturally) but it’s what we do with those comments that sets us apart.

We received a recent blog post comment that said: “Problem is nobody offers Polos that are long enough.”

No specifics. We reached out to the commenter and asked what shirts she’s tried. Turns out she liked the more contemporary shape of our Feminine Fit Polos, but they’re too short for her plus size. Even the Relaxed Fit was too short. I shared her comment with our merchants and they said they’d review the fit with our quality team. Two days later, I received a reply that after an extensive review, they determined our fit was running a bit short in those sizes, and adjustments were being made right away. The new version is hitting our shelves in 2011.

They also asked me to send the writer’s contact information so they could send her the revised style to try once it became available. The customer was over the moon. They wrote : “The fact you listened was great, but to think you actually acted on that one comment? Amazing.”

Lands End is doing their part in keeping the customer service revolution alive!

What other brands are doing a great job of listening on social media?

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