As usual, I’ve been horrible about wanting to blog lately. It’s not that I don’t actually want to, it’s that I always have something else I’m doing, and if I don’t have something extremely pressing to say, I just don’t think about it. I’ve wanted to change this and write a bit more regularly, but my attempts have failed a bit so far. Eh. I’ll get there.
The thing that compelled me to write today was actually an experience I just had. Over the course of the past couple of weeks really, but the end result that culminated today is what tipped me in the direction of telling the world. I’m just excited about it, and I want to explain why, and also maybe drive a bit of a point that’s always been important to me home.
Anyway. I’m subscribed to a billion photography forums (yes, a billion), newsletters, blogs, vlogs, etc. and most of them are conveniently delivered to my email inbox. I’ve received numerous (generous) coupon codes for high-quality prints and canvases issued by print companies just dying to get their names out there. Since I’m planning on starting print and gift sales next year, I’ve been testing the waters. I definitely want quality. I don’t want to offer products I wouldn’t be happy with hanging in my own home, so I decided to do just that- test out products by ordering them and hanging them in my own home.
One particular email I received was for a $40 26×20 canvas gallery wrap- originally priced $127- from a canvas company called Canvas by Blossom. I jumped on it, and figured even if the quality wasn’t what I was looking for, $40 wasn’t too much to be out for the sake of testing. There was a 3-5 business day turnaround guarantee (not including shipping), and I would receive a shipping email. Well… the 6th business day hit and I didn’t see a shipping message, or really any info indicating they’d actually received and processed my order. So I decided to call the number on the email. I was expecting the usual waiting on hold, transfers through automated systems, etc. and was actually planning on being on the phone for quite a while- something I absolutely hate to do. Well, the phone rang about twice, and a gentleman answered, introduced himself as Tim, and proceeded to look up my order for me. He said it had indeed been received, and that it should be shipping the next day. He then apologized, because they’d had such an increase in orders due to the coupon, their printing and shipping was a bit behind. He then said he would send me a coupon as an additional apology for the wait. I was thrilled, of course! I received the email about a minute later containing a 50% off code for my next order, good for the next couple of months!
Well, a few days passed, and I still never received a shipping email. Being the impatient yet relatively understanding person I am, I decided to give them a ring again, just to check on the status and appease my curiosity. Once again, TIm kindly answered the phone right away, told me that the orders were still a bit behind, and that it should go out the next day. He politely apologized again, and said he would send yet another coupon code for my wait. Again, I received the email nearly instantaneously, only this time for 60% off, and good until the end of April! That’s 6 months! And, use is unlimited, meaning I can use the code whenever/however many times I’d like, which is nearly a first in my coupon-using experience. Of course, I was still thrilled, yet greatly anticipating my canvas. I decided to be patient for a while, because surely shipping would take at least a week..
It arrived two days later. TWO DAYS. Not only that, but when I opened it, my jaw nearly hit the floor. It was heavy. It was huge. Thick, luxuriously texturized, rich color, and DEAD ON exactly the way I’d edited the photo. The detail was amazing, and the backing was extremely well-built. I was over the moon. I actually had a REALLY hard time deciding where to put it- I live in a Victorian house that isn’t in the greatest of shape, so my walls are a little wonky in places. And the ceilings are high, so the walls just look bare. I mean… this IS my first image of this size, excluding my painting of an octopus I did a few years ago. So I had a hard time finding a place within frequent enough view and of good enough visual appeal for a canvas of this gloriousness. Finally Husband decided to move one of our shelves to the living room and I propped it up on that. I’m happy with the placement for now, but I can’t wait to move in a few months and put it on brand new, smooth walls 🙂
Anyway. I’ve worked in different realms of customer service since I was 16. I am very aware that an unhappy customer is MORE than happy to tell you and the rest of the world about their dissatisfaction, but only on semi-rare occasions to happy customers feel compelled to express just how satisfied they were with a really great experience. I have been on the end of both of these scenarios, of course. So the good feeling it always gave me to hear a good review on my hard work has made a lasting impression on me, and because of this, I’ve always tried to make it a priority to let companies know when they as a whole or just one of their employees did an outstanding job of meeting and exceeding my expectations. This amazing, wonderful experience I had with Canvas by Blossom was no different. I NEEDED to shout out to Facebook how happy I was with my purchase and the effort put in by those fulfilling my order because I want others to experience the same satisfaction I did. So I put one out on my wall, and then realized that I wanted them to know about it too. So I hopped over to their page and told them how I felt.
So today, I checked my email and found another email from Tim. Same guy who I’d been communicating with via phone and email, whom I’d received excellent service from. He thanked me generously for the review I’d left on the Canvas by Blossom wall, and told me he’d learned of it today at their quarterly company meeting, when his supervisor read it to the entire company. He thanked me for naming him specifically in my review, and told me that he and the entire company greatly appreciated the fact that I’d shared my great experience with others. And at the end of the email? Another great coupon code.
Now, I’d sort of been leaning toward a different company to fulfil my orders in the future, only based on word-of-mouth. I’ve never tried their products, but I’ve seen them in real life, and heard wonderful things about the company. I still may use that other company for my prints and other products, but as for my canvases, I know who I’ll be going to. They’re a bit pricier than other canvas companies, but between the outstanding quality of the canvas itself and the customer service that was both personal, non-complicated, and WAY above and beyond what I was expecting, they’ve won my heart. Way to go, Canvas by Blossom. And way to go Tim. By taking a little extra time to ensure satisfaction in your customers, you’ve reaped so much more than merely another client. You’ve gained loyalty, and made a great name for yourself, and I can’t count how many times I’ve retold this story, even before today’s final, driving act of kindness.
This is a great lesson for me, too. It’s been just one more positive reinforcement that professionalism, kindness, and attentiveness to your customers’ needs is one of the best ways to succeed. Put good out there, and receive good in return.