There have been many examples of how companies can effectively use social media for customer service in recent weeks, most of which show how the use of social media can add a personal touch to a large corporation, and provide a positive experience for customers. That is until recently.
During the Thanksgiving weekend Liberty Bottleworks received the post you see on the right from an angry customer. Following the weekend, Co-Founder & COO – Ryan Clark took to Facebook with a response. What I like best about the response is that he does not once apologize for the values and beliefs of his company, or how they put “Family first, product second.” Rather, Clark reiterates to this customer what the company believes in, meaning that the conversation went from customer service, to branding in less than 3 seconds. Stating the company values (shown below) which are strong, and noble in nature, reinstates what Liberty wants to be known for. They want to ensure that business is done in an ethical manner, and is fair for all of those involved. Liberty hires vets, prides themselves in green methods of productions, and wants to support American artists and companies, and in the end wants to preserve these values for generations to come.
Liberty Bottleworks promises to our customers and non-customers alike that we will operate as stewards. We will conduct business in a way to preserve and protect all that makes this country great for future generations. Our bottles are made in America by American workers. Liberty Bottles are made with recycled materials and are entirely recyclable. We will continue to develop new processes in design and fabrication to make our products last longer and use less. We will promote the importance of the arts by using individual artists to create unique bottle art. We will act as financial stewards with a percentage of every bottle sold helping organizations and people in need. This is not our “ethos”, or “mission statement”, or “brand message”, it is our Promise.
I say “good for them” – for not folding to get the sale. The impact of sticking to their beliefs has gone much further than this one sale ever would. Seeing this story brought forth a lot of questions worth asking, especially as we head into the New Year, a time traditionally known for desired self-improvement: What does your company stand for? What are your values? How are you ensuring that this part of your business’ story is being told?
Every once in a while, giving a foul-tempered customer a public skewering can be good for business. At least that seems to be the lesson of Liberty Bottleworks, whose polite but eviscerating reply to a Facebook complaint has gone viral and generated vocal support for the small business.
Although the original conversation has since been removed from the Washington-based company’s Facebook page, a screenshot that’s been widely passed around online shows a customer berating the business for botching her order and not responding to her calls. In a lengthy and detailed reply, co-founder Ryan Clark described how the customer had actually been harassing his employees and ignoring Liberty’s attempts to reach out.
Since the screenshot was posted to Reddit this week by a former employee, the Liberty Bottleworks Facebook page, phone number and website have been flooded with supporters who appreciate the company’s “family first, product second” philosophy.
On that note, from all of us at Hunch – Thank you for the opportunity to work with you this past year. Best wishes for a New Year filled with health, happiness, and spectacular success.