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A Story for the Birds


Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2018 in Small Business Today Articles

A few weeks ago I wrote a story about an interesting customer service experience that my son-in-law relayed to me.  Well after reading that story a friend of mine Lowell Vine, sent me an e-mail an email describing his experience with customer service.  With his permission, I share that story with you today…

Lowell enjoys feeding birds and recently attended an auction where he spotted a Droll Yankee feeder.  According to Lowell, Droll Yankee is one of the best bird feeders around.  A new model comparable to the one up for auction sells for around $100.00.  Even though this feeder was missing a couple of parts, he decided that if he bought the feeder for a good price, he could purchase the parts or make his own replacement parts.  Apparently he is much handier than I am.

He ended up buying the feeder for a whopping $1.00.  When he got home he called the manufacturer to see if parts were still available as this was not a current model. He confirmed that the missing parts were also used on the current model and available, even though they were not listed on their website. The rep asked Lowell how old the feeder was and Lowell reported that he had just acquired the feeder at an auction but guessed the feeder was 20 to 30 years old.  The rep then asked for Lowell’s address and but did not ask for any form of payment.

Puzzled by this he asked if they were going to bill him rather than take his credit card information. Her response blew him away! She reported that she would send the parts at no charge under warranty. Lowell was not sure that this was correct and reminded the rep that he did not buy this new, the feeder is old and the parts are missing (not broken or defective). She acknowledged that she had the info correct and that they will still send all the necessary parts the next day at no charge.

When the parts arrived a few days later, they arrived with an owner’s manual, just in case he needed it. Also included was a hand written card from the rep thanking Lowell and encouraging him to call if he had any further needs.  Wow!  That is great customer service.

Now I am not into feeding birds like Lowell but if I was, I would definitely buy Droll Yankee brand.  Lowell said it may be more expensive than others, but their feeders hold up to the weather, look good and function better for over 20 years.  Does your company have a reputation like that? Do your front line personnel treat customers like Lowell was treated?  If not, why not?

It didn’t cost Droll Yankee much to honor their warranty and Lowell would have gladly paid for the replacement parts and the shipping. By giving great customer service, they saved a ton in marketing costs because Lowell is now telling everyone he knows about his experience. Today I challenge you to deliver service like Lowell received and gain loyalty and word of mouth advertising like Lowell is giving.

Needless to say, Lowell’s loyalty to Droll Yankee has gone up dramatically. He told me that he now has 3 Droll Yankee feeders hanging in his back yard.  Lowell and the birds are very happy.

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