It might only be a teabag to you…


…But to them it’s their whole business – and so I found out the other day.

For the last year I’ve been posting blogs about all things selling and service, and a good chunk of those postings have been observations around when sales and service goes wrong. Despite how it might seem, I much prefer writing about good news stories, like the one you’re about to read…

My better half has recently developed a liking for Red Bush tea, and so she regularly buys Tetley’s Red Bush from our local supermarket. However, the last couple of times she has bought it, she has got home only to discover she has in fact bought the Vanilla version of the tea rather than the original brand of Red Bush she prefers.

So why the mistake? Well, the boxes are almost identical, certainly in colour, and it was really easy to get them confused.

When she told me about this I suggested she email the Tetley’s customer service department to give them this feedback, and to my amazement she did. But even more to my amazement, was what happened next!

Within only a couple of hours of sending the email, she received a telephone call from no other than Susan Tetley herself, wanting to apologise for the misleading packaging, and talking about how they are already looking into redesigning the boxes. To add the cherry on top, she even said she would send some free vouchers in the post to her by means of making good her inconvenience.  

Now, in fairness to my better half, she never expected anything like that to happen. To be honest, we both thought she might get an email reply at best, thanking her for her feedback. Yet to receive a telephone call from one of the Tetley family was way and above our realistic expectations.

But why should it have been? Have we been brow-beaten so much by indifferent service over the years that we expect the worse?

What Susan Tetley was getting was the best ever customer survey money can buy – a real-life customer with real-life feedback on their product, which is priceless to any provider of goods and services.

So, don’t ever be afraid of feedback from a customer – feedback isn’t what will break your business down, it’s what will build it for a sustainable future.

Make sure you are constantly seeking feedback from the people in the best position to give you it – your buying customers!


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