Sprout Organic Baby Food

 

Sprout Organics
Baby A has been enjoying new foods and flavors slowly over the last few months.

She’s eager to feed herself and becoming less interested in the smooth purees we had been feeding her. Which is why we were thrilled to find the Sprout Organic Baby Food pouches at our local grocery store. Because sometimes making our own food for her is just not feasible with the limited hours in the day. Plus, the pouches are extra great for school.

After trying a coupe of the Sprout Organic Baby Food, Baby A was hooked.

Which is why we sent her to school last week with one of the Banana and Brown Rice varieties.

I thought we had checked over each pouch at the grocery store carefully, like we do with canned goods. Turns out this one slipped past us.
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Thank goodness for Baby A’s vigilant and watchful teachers. Not only did they catch the mold, but they saved it for us in a plastic bag and texted me right away.

Which meant, I called Sprout Organic right away.

Not only was the woman who answered the phone apologetic, but she was empowered to send us a replacement and treated me with compassion. When I described the issue, she said it was likely because someone had used a box cutter on the box even though they are clearly labeled not to use box cutters to open the boxes. At this point, she could have easily declared that it wasn’t Sprout Organic’s fault and told me to call the store where we purchased the product. Instead, she again apologized and verified our address.

I expected to receive a coupon or two so I was very surprised when a box arrived the very next day.

I opened it and saw 11 pouches!

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Plus, the woman I spoke with followed up and was just as gracious.

Kudos Sprout Organic for standing behind your product and empowering your employees to go the extra mile for your customers.

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How To Win Customers For Life (Guest Post on Miles and Co.)

How To Win Customers For Life
Buying a car
often sits near the top of the dreaded tasks list for most Americans. I felt the exact same way, despite buying three cars in the past.

Car dealerships and specifically salespeople are typically rated very poorly on follow-ups once they’ve completed the initial sale. But as DFW Car Dealer Carl Sewell writes in his book Customers For Life, one customer is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first chapter of Carl’s book outlines the Ten Commandments of Customer service:

  1. Bring ‘em back alive: Ask customers what they want and give it to them again and again.
  2. Systems not smiles: Saying please and thank you doesn’t ensure you’ll do the job right first time, every time. Only systems guarantee you that.
  3. Underpromise, overdeliver: Customers expect you to keep your word. Exceed it.
  4. When the customer asks the answer is always “yes.” Period.
  5. Fire your inspectors and consumer relations’ department: Every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints.
  6. No complaints? Something’s wrong: Encourage your customers to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
  7. Measure everything: Baseball teams do it. Football teams do it. Basketball teams do it. You should too.
  8. Salaries are unfair: Pay people like partners.
  9. Your mother was right: Show people respect. Be polite. It works.
  10. Japanese them: Learn how the best really do it; make their systems your own. Then improve them.

Additionally, he writes if you treat your customers right, they’ll want to come back.

“Instead of buying one car from us, and then disappearing forever, the customer returns whenever he needs a new one,” Sewell writes. “Over the course of his lifetime he’ll end up spending a lot of money with us –$517,000 to be exact.”

Cameron Tigg  at Joe Machens Toyota in Columbia very much understands this concept. …

To read the rest, you’ll have to go check out the Miles & Co. blog, where I wrote this as a guest piece.

Career Evaluations

Image from: movinglivesforward.org
Image from: movinglivesforward.org

A friend is reentering the workforce after spending the last few years home with her son. She’s more than qualified in a two very different fields and to help her decide which one to focus her job search on, she’s working as a temp.

This is a great opportunity for her to evaluate what she likes and doesn’t in addition to what’s changed in the last five years.

After working in her temporary position for two of the four weeks, she’s fairly certain that she would enjoy a different field and inquired how to talk to the temp agency about placing her somewhere else when this position wraps up.

I encouraged her to have a conversation with the agency and be candid. Instead of emphasizing what she hated, instead reiterate the parts that she did enjoy, especially the aspects that indicate she would be happier in a different field.

For example, if she didn’t like the customer service parts of the job but enjoyed the data entry, schedule coordinating, taking meeting notes and filing, she should emphasize the latter in the conversation and on her written summary.

A Bank that doesn’t hate on even potential customers

So after yesterday’s rant about issues with a certain bank (some of which I acknowledge were not the bank’s fault, per say) I wanted to take the time to give full credit to a local bank who has amazingly excellent customer service, even for their non-customers.

After my initial tweet, a representative from Landmark Bank contacted me on twitter, leading to a day long conversation and an e-mail addressing my specific needs. And I’m not even a customer. Landmark Bank saw I problem, offered a solution (several in fact) and has continued to provide answers to every question I’ve asked, even if the representative had to ask someone else.

Not only are they using social media to their advantage, I am sure they are getting results. I am curious how many other potential customers they have engaged this way. A far cry from the other bank’s “how can I help you” stream of non-interaction.

Honestly, all I wanted yesterday was to talk to a real person. Some one who could say, we don’t have any control over when the alerts are sent, it is all automated. Here’s exactly what happened. We’re sorry this happened to you, but it isn’t our fault. I would have been fine with that answer. When I didn’t reach anyone on the phone (and can’t spend a half hour on hold or get to the bank during “banking hours”), I tried social media.

I just wanted an explanation, which I still have not received.

When Did Banks start Hating on their Customers?

What is the point of having a customer service account on Twitter if you won’t even engage your upset customer?

You may have noticed, I’ve complained about Bank of America before. The first time was when the website was down. The people controlling the Twitter account said it must have been an internet issue on my end because it was working fine for them.

When I told them that the rest of my internet was working fine. I didn’t get a response.

For the record, I have low account balance threshold alerts set up. I should get an e-mail and a text, but can only seem to regularly get the e-mail. I got an alert at 5:53 a.m. Too bad after I checked my account, I found out that I got hit with a fee yesterday what looks to be early. (Bank of America doesn’t timestamp the transactions.) Frustrated, I sent out this tweet: dear @bofa_help it is beneficial to have a low balance notice sent BEFORE fees kick in. sincerely, a disgruntled customer.

I’ll just say the response was faster from friends who have had a bad experience than the actual @bofa_help (who I still only just heard from.)

A rather smart, business savvy friend said he’s personally heard complaints from all levels of customers of Bank of America. From simple checking account holders up to multimillion dollar loan holders.

I’d love to switch. Unfortunately, I’m a bit hand cuffed as my current company uses Bank of America. Since I have direct deposit, I can get paid a full day earlier for taking advantage of this arrangement.

All I really wanted was someone to listen to my complaint. Too bad the people listening were also irritated instead of the people with the power to help.

10 a.m. Update: Bank of America contacted me again to say I wasn’t following them and therefore couldn’t DM me an e-mail address. That has since been rectified, but still no e-mail address to a real person.

A great local bank, Landmark Bank, recommended in the article here by Justin Willett contacted me on Twitter to say they’re sorry to hear about my complaints and offer help. They even went as far as to read this post and directly comment. I must say, I’m pretty impressed. If their in person customer service matches their online customer service, I might be sold. Look for further updates throughout the day.

Update: As of 7:30 a.m. on Friday, April 16, still no actual person contact. Sure, they said to e-mail the best time to reach me, which I did. But on Wednesday they called an hour after I said I would be available and on Thursday an hour before. The poor, confused man who called yesterday admitted to NOT KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS in the Central Time Zone. Google, much? Then, instead of leaving a number, he suggested I contact them on Twitter again. Because that worked so well the first time. I am actually hoping they try to call again this afternoon. Maybe they’ll get the time correct.