Chinaberry Books Takes Baby Steps with New Technology (888 word
by Rachel McLaughlin
Looking for a book on being a better parent or a book for that special child? Chinaberry Books has a book for you. It's a mail-order catalog for families and parents that sells "cream of the crop" children's and parenting books, books on tape and games, says Robin Harrison, Chinaberry's catalog production manager.
With a focus on wholesome, enlightening and educational books, Chinaberry's catalog is heavy with text describing each book so parents can make an intelligent selection. Written in the first person, each description explains why the book is a good read, and some also include customer testimonials.
Chinaberry offers different levels of books (I through IV) depending on the child's age and reading level. The adult books guide parents through difficult issues such as dealing with a spirited child, explaining menarche to your daughter and keeping your relationship with your spouse healthy.
As one of the catalog industry respondents to our State of the Industry survey, Chinaberry Books is moving into 1999 facing many of the same challenges as its fellow marketers —maintaining and utilizing its database, coping with rising postage costs and pondering an online presence.
With its wholesome books and homey atmosphere, Chinaberry customers feel like part of the family. Chinaberry fosters this feeling by making customer service its number one focus. It has a 100-percent money-back guarantee, and personal letters (actually handwritten) are sent any time a customer has a problem, question or comment.
Since there are so many ways that consumers can get books—from another catalog, a bookstore or, increasingly, online—Chinaberry wants to treat its customers with the best possible service, starting from the customer service reps who answer the phone. Every rep has read all the books Chinaberry offers and can make recommendations or suggestions. They can discuss the books and guide the parent to a good choice for their children.