I like spending Friday mornings writing about good customer service experiences whenever possible, and I was recently reminded of a shopping experience my parents had when dealing with Cirmes Tonsorial Parlor.
I've mentioned before that I'm a straight razor shaver, and that I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to my morning shaving routine. Honestly, my sink in the bathroom has more bottles of stuff on it than my wife's does.
When I heard about Cirmes, the hands-on approach to crafting everything really appealed to me and I said as much to my folks. They pried out of me through some super-secret parental techniques (handing me a newspaper article and a pen) which scents I was most likely to enjoy and purchased 3 different aftershaves for me for my birthday (Sapera, Absinthe, and my absolute favorite, Monsieur Jameson).
The story I heard from my parents goes that over several email exchanges, Andrew Fuller, the proprietor, realized that they lived in Des Moines and got all excited that he had a local customer since he crafts all his scents there in my home town. When my parents told him that they weren't actually for them but were for me out here in Virginia, he was a little disappointed, but offered to deliver the order to their house personally anyway.
They accepted, and a few days later, Andrew arrived with the bag pictured above, containing three small bottles of the most amazing aftershave lotion I've ever experienced. In a personalized bag. With a card made out to my parents. Hand-written. By fountain pen.
They proceeded to chat for close to half an hour and examine my parents' collection of antique razors (my grandfather had been a barber) and shaving mugs. My folks were beyond impressed that a young man who did most of his work on the Internet would go to such lengths to meet a customer.
I've since learned that this small businessman has seen his products in some pretty impressive hands, including Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling. For him to take that much time in sharing his passion with a customer who wasn't even the end-user of his products is pretty darned cool.
Oh, and I later found out by trading some emails of my own with him that the ink he used in writing the letter pictured above was also handmade. Wow.
To this day, they still talk about that day. That is stellar customer service, and he applied it in a unique fashion:
He did not wait to show his customer service mettle until a problem had arisen. He led with service on his very first interaction and created a customer for life.
Do Me A Favor?
Andrew is currently a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards, and I'd like to help him out. Please consider clicking on his logo below and voting for him after you check out his site using any of the links in this article. I get nothing from any sales on his site; I'm just a very happy customer and referring others is reward enough for me.
Your turn: When has a vendor gone above and beyond for you? Rave about it in the comments below!