Aunt Joy’s Website Was Hacked!
A highlight of my week is the publication of this column and the receipt of comments—pro and con. Sometimes readers write me directly. More often they share their thoughts with other readers by posting a comment online.
I almost never reply online. I feel I've had my say in the column. The comment section is for you, the reader, to have your say.
However I do reply personally to everyone who posts a comment online or replies directly to me. The exception: when I cannot track down the sender's address.
Joy Murphy—A Real Joy!
Joy Murphy it the kind of reader I adore. She runs a neat niche business—Aunt Joy's Personalized Christmas Stockings out of Rock Island, Ill. [Visit her site, or see her home page in the media player at right].
True she runs a small business, but Aunt Joy operates under a philosophy of creating what I call world class CRM—Customer Relationship Magic. A sampling of Aunt Joy's thinking:
Aunt Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
02/26/2008 at 6:43 PM
Denny, I am in my 14th year as an Internet mail order business. I am very small. I plan to stay very small. I started Aunt Joy's Personalized Christmas Stockings with $100 of Christmas fabric and I started reading every book I could find on mail order and people who built their business into a successful enterprise. I read Lillian Vernon's book and was inspired by many things she said ... until I got to the almost end of the book, where she admitted that her father's advertising department wrote and designed the ad for her. It was disappointing to learn she had NOT started on her own. But I did learn a lot from her book, and perhaps the CEOs that ran the company into the ground never bothered to place an order and learn what it is like to be the customer. Small cottage businesses that survive, like Aunt Joy's, have lots of competition, but I offer A UNIQUE PRODUCT that you cannot buy at Wal-Mart, Lillian Vernon or Crate & Barrel. I sell products MADE IN AMERICA'S HEARTLAND, and every customer is my new BEST FRIEND. I strive to give STELLAR CUSTOMER SERVICE, the kind of service I want when I shop. I answer my own phone, take most orders, or pass the phone to my workshop elf after a nice chat with the customer, but most of all, I HAVE A PASSION ABOUT MY PRODUCT AND MY CUSTOMER. And that passion is communicated to the customer and reflected in the product. The Big Boys of Mail Order always lose sight of the customer ... how many of the Big Boy CEOs have actually shopped at their own company ... probably NONE. ... so they just did not GET IT. It was Lillian Vernon's passion that kept the customers coming back, and the bean counters just cannot capture that passion. I expect to be around for a long time. My customers are counting on me to be here when they have another baby and need another Aunt Joy's Personalized Christmas Stocking for their holiday celebrations. Success to many of us is not measured by the MILLIONS in sales, but by the CUSTOMERS WE KEEP!