What Missing a Conference Taught Me About Customer Loyalty

Urban building -- What missing a conference taught me about customer loyalty

I was devastated.

I bought early-bird tickets. I planned my days off, notifying clients and doing my work in advance.

I was so excited to meet big names in the content-marketing industry and to get to listen to the incredible lineup of speakers – including Daniel Pink, Sally Hogshead and Henry Rollins.

But sitting in the doctor’s office the day before the Copyblogger Authority Rainmaker 2015 conference, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to go to the live event.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Copyblogger Crew to the Rescue

Copyblogger had sent out an email the day before saying that all the conference sessions would be recorded, so attendees could feel free to stay in the moment during the presentations and know that they could revisit the content later on.

So the first thing I did when I found out I couldn’t go was email Copyblogger’s support team.

I told them what my situation was and asked them if they would be sending out the recordings to all ticketholders – even those, like me, who didn’t check in to the live event. I wasn’t about to ask for my money back the day before the conference – especially if I could still listen to all the presentations!

I got an email back a few hours later that knocked my socks off.

First, the support team member, Jett, expressed sympathy for my situation, wished me a speedy recovery and told me she’d keep me in her thoughts. VERY nice way to start out a customer-service response email, don’t you think?

But it got better.

She confirmed that I would indeed receive the recordings (hooray!)… and then she asked me for my mailing address so she could personally mail me my registration booklet and swag bag.

Now that’s above and beyond.

But she didn’t stop there. She also encouraged me to reach out to her when next year’s tickets go on sale, and she’d see if she could get me a discount if I’d like to attend.

WOW.

So let’s break this wonderful experience down.

  1. The Copyblogger support team responded quickly
  2. Jett, the support person who answered my ticket, expressed sympathy, humanizing our interaction
  3. She answered my question directly and thoroughly
  4. She went above and beyond the scope of my request (confirming that I would get recordings of the presentations) and arranged for me to get a swag bag in the mail
  5. Finally, she encouraged my continued loyalty to Copyblogger by offering me a discount on next year’s tickets

THIS is how customer service should be done. (Ahem. Cable company, take note.)

How to Keep a Customer Loyal for Life

I could have asked for my money back for the unused tickets. But Copyblogger made it worthwhile for me not to do that.

First, they offered extra value with their conference by making recordings available to ticketholders. I might not have been able to attend the conference live, but I will still have access to all those valuable teachings.

Then, to add value on top of value, Copyblogger’s customer-service team handled me like a cherished customer – not a pain to be dealt with.

Think about your own customer-service process. Answering every request that comes in isn’t good enough in today’s social marketplace. Do you add value to your customers’ experiences?

That is where customer loyalty is found. In the value-adds.

This doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor, either. Even small gestures go a long way. I’m sure it’s going to cost Copyblogger a few bucks to mail me my swag bag, and they might lose a little money on me if I call in the discount on next year’s conference ticket – but that’s a drop in the bucket next to my lifetime value as a customer (I am an Authority member, which involves a yearly membership fee).

And look – I’m writing about them for all the world to see! Positive press can be worth more than the cost of mailing a swag bag.

So really think about this. Brainstorm on it. How can you add value to your customers’ experiences with your company?

  • Ask everyone in your company to weigh in – from the CEO to the janitor
  • Ask your customers on social media
  • Find out what your competition is doing to add value for their customers

Copyblogger Versus the Cable Company

Every interaction I’ve ever had with Copyblogger – from getting my questions answered to asking them to update my bio on the Certified Content Marketers page – has been a pleasant experience. My conversation with their support team about missing this year’s conference was no exception – and they took the opportunity to take their customer care to a whole new level.

I never hesitate to reach out to Copyblogger, and I never hesitate to recommend them to others.

Contrast this with when my cable goes out, though…

When I’m having cable or Internet issues, I DREAD calling the local cable company (who will remain nameless, but if you’re in the Denver area, you know exactly who I’m talking about). I know it’s going to be a frustrating process of transfers and holds, and it will take hours out of my day at best. At worst, they’ll send someone out to my house, who may or may not show up when they’re supposed to, and may or may not have the skills to fix the issue – and then they’ll charge me for it.

I buy cable from this company because I have no other option. (Sorry, satellite and DSL lovers. I’m a cable girl, through and through.)

I buy a yearly membership and conference tickets from Copyblogger because I know I’m going to get great value and great service.

One company has my money until there’s another option. The other has my money and my loyalty.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What company has surprised you with outstanding customer service? Comment here or send me a tweet at @horizonpeak.

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2 Comments

  1. Jett

    Wow! Thank you so much for the hat tip, Jessica.

    I am very fortunate to work for a company that equips its employees with enough freedom to do the right thing. The Copyblogger partners believe in generosity and compassion, and the support team tries our best to rep those ideals every day.

    Our customers are some of the smartest and most lovable people out there, so that doesn’t hurt, either. >:o)

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Jett, you certainly represented those ideals of generosity and compassion! Thank you again for your kindness. You made a bad situation SO much better for this Copyblogger customer. 🙂

      Reply

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