01 November 2009

You want to know how to impress me?

  The short version. This:


The long version. I put in a small order for some beads with Artbeads.com because they had Swarovski in colours I couldn’t find elsewhere. And they offer free shipping in the U.S. I like free stuff. The image above were the contents of the shipping envelope exactly as I opened it. Yes that’s their business card secured in the tissue paper, nice touch. Inside the gems were in compartmentalized little capsule thingies, bagged individually, (in resealable bags even) and labeled. Then wrapped in a layer of… that flexible foam stuff that should be bubble wrap, because bubble wrap is more fun. Lack of happy popping notwithstanding, these little touches of presentation and attention are what make me want to come back to a company.

There was no question I got what I ordered, and it arrived quickly, and with free shipping. I like free stuff. Other companies, even home businesses, (myself included) could take a few hints from this to evaluate their packaging and shipping and labeling.

I’ve dealt with companies that cram unlabeled bags of whatever in a box, stuff contents list inside, and send it off. I’m thankful as all hell for a list of contents since half the time I can barely remember what I ate yesterday, let alone something I ordered a week or so before. The trick when it arrives, is figuring out what’s what without having individual bags labeled. Had I ordered rings in the same dimensions, in two similar looking materials, like Stainless and Aluminum, it’s that much extra effort to judge them by weight, make a label, and integrate them into my storage system (storage system, me? Yeah that’s a laugh, I have tchewbs, lots of tchewbs everywhere.) If a few more companies learned from Artbeads.com we could spend less time cutting open heat sealed poly and figuring out what’s what and more time putting nice labeled baggies in their place until their contents are needed for stuffmaking.

--Have fun,


Note, tchewb is the phonetic pronunciation of tube if you’re Australian. Ask any of them, ‘struth.


FrawgzDezignz said...

Not sure if you've gotten an order from FMG or not to compare, but I've ordered from both Artbeads & FMG and I think they use the same shipping concept at least in theory.

Every FMG order comes in a solid box (usually because I order enough stuff that a box is required and never had an envelope from them) The bottom of the box is wadded up blank newsprint - which I save and give to the neighbor kids to draw on. Then the bags of goodies then the free item whatever it is that they include each time (never have had the same thing twice). The invoice and their catalog for the current sale cycle, and the tissue paper topper with a sticker "Packed with Love."

ONLY once have I gotten something broken from FMG and when I reported it they quickly told me to keep the partially broken package (1 of 2 in the pk was beyond repair). and they shipped a replacement out to me ASAP. The things FMG sends that are free are actually useful. I've gotten: a slide caliper type thingy, a carpenter's style tape measure, a keychain calculator (That was a neat concept if the buttons were too tiny for my fat fingers), a T-shirt, and this time a bright pink 'recycled content-like the ones all the stores have now w/their logos on it' shopping bag. The t-shirt was too small for me - I gave it to a clothing drive...when I called at the time about the t-shirt I asked if I could just return it since it wouldn't fit. She said no its ok share it with someone - give it to the homeless etc - they aren't marked so the packers can't see what size to pick from - they were odds from a lot they ordered for employees. Meh neat idea anyway.

Artbeads does a wonderful job as well and their free gift is the shipping. Plus they have coupons through email - occasionally. They also have different sizes & shapes for a lot of things than FMG does.

I fully agree with you on the taking the time to mark everything is majorly important and goes a long way toward making a positive experience into an excellent experience. And like you said - skimping on those labels especially in things like rings (or saw blades, or 4 varieties of lobster-claw clasps that are different by 1mm from each other in either end) just makes more work for the consumer at the end and often makes us wonder WHY are we paying those prices if there's no attention to detail?

Lastly I think a lot of companies could take artbeads & FMG's lead and follow it - the less the customer has to do after they get the order to be able to use the product the better. Stop adding all sorts of new, unusual, odd products, and increase the ease of use of your packaging, and majorly increase the care & concern of your staff before jumping to make more money by adding new product - all that does is make your customers see you as money hungry vs putting people first.

Karen said...

I agree! All of those little things add up and make the difference!

Post a Comment