'Take This Catalog and Shove It!' - A Modern Customer Relations Parable
But the highlight (or perhaps lowlight) was my experience with the RH brand directly. I went to their website and completed the Feedback form. But it was the response I got that told me that RH is clueless when it comes to marketing. To help put this into perspective, I'll share my note to them and their canned response. This is all a true case study in what not to do.
As a homeowner, I am appalled at the 50 lbs of catalogs you sent me recently. It took me 10 minutes to cut through all the plastic, so I could dump 13 catalogs in my recycle bin. I posted my crankiness to my FB page and have had over 40 others respond with equal disgust.
As a marketer, I am stunned at your lack of understanding of your customers and prospects. It can't possibly make good financial sense to send me all this stuff as I haven't made a purchase from you in years ... and even then didn't spend more than $100. Please, I'm begging you, take me off your mailing list ... and contact me if you want some help with marketing strategies and tactics that can truly pay off with engaged customers, higher average order sizes, and brand evangelists.
From: Restoration Hardware Customer Service [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2014 7:22 PM
To: Carolyn Goodman
Subject: RE: RH - Feedback >
Thank you for contacting Restoration Hardware regarding our sourcebooks. We respect your environmental concerns and assure you that we are also very conscientious about our global footprint. The paper we use for our catalogs is sourced from sustainable forests, certified by 'Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification' (PEFC). According to the PEFC website, the group works throughout the entire forest supply chain to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social, and ethical standards.
Additionally, we recently reduced the number of sourcebooks and the frequency by which we send them. Mailings that were once monthly are now only twice per year. For those who prefer to view our catalogs online, we have made our sourcebooks available on our website and through various smartphone and tablet applications.
In order to ensure that you are removed from our mailing list, please cancel your subscription via our website by clicking here. If you are unable to do so, please respond with the name and mailing address in which the sourcebooks were delivered, and we can certainly cancel your subscription for you.
We sincerely value your feedback. It is through our customers' input that we continue to improve our quality of service. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
Again, thank you for contacting Restoration Hardware.
Email Customer Service Advocate
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.