Lost opportunities.

I recently bought a new mattress from a small, privately owned bed manufacturer in Hawke’s Bay. Their customer service in-store was excellent. They could clearly articulate the differences between each mattress, were happy for us to ‘test drive’ them, offered a deal for cash and were clear about when it could be delivered.

True to their word, it arrived as arranged and was wrestled into place. As is the way in the Bay, I offered the delivery guy a cuppa and he happily accepted.

Turns out he was the owner of the company. Eventually the conversation turned to what I did for a living. I explained that I was Creative Director for a specialist 1:1 agency and, sensing that he had no idea what that meant, I used his own company as an example. It went something like this.

“So you’ve made a sale, and you have the customer’s name, contact details and know what mattress they bought and when. Correct?”

“Yes.”

“A couple of weeks into owning their mattress, do you send them a ‘thank you for purchasing a mattress from us’ message inviting them to contact you if for any reason it’s not meeting their needs (too soft, too hard etc)?” (Note: the company is happy to swap a mattress if it doesn’t meet your expectations)

“No.”

“Then a few months into ownership, when they’re a raving fan of their new wonderfully comfortable mattress, do you leverage this by asking them to recommend your mattresses to family and friends, and incentivise them to do so?”

“No.”

“Given that most homes have multiple bedrooms with mattresses of varying ages and quality, do you regularly offer special mattress deals to existing customers (maybe even a mattress assessment service), and explain that you can manufacture mattresses to any size and shape?”

“No.”

“Presumably there is regular ‘maintenance’ a customer should undertake on their mattress to keep it fresh, healthy and performing optimally – do you send them helpful reminders of this?”

“No.”

“And given that a mattress has a ‘life’ and you know when they bought theirs, do you contact them prior to this with a special ‘upgrade’ offer?

“No.”

At this point I could see the light come on and he hurriedly excused himself – I assumed to rush back to the office and immediately draft up a contact strategy that would result in more loyal customers and more sales. To date, I haven’t received a single communication.

This company states its mission as: ‘To provide the bed that’s right for each of our customers and excellent service. Making the bed buying experience easy and enjoyable.’

And therein lies the lost opportunity – they should be thinking not just about the ‘bed buying experience’ (which they do very well) but also the ‘bed ownership experience’. Maybe they just don’t know where to begin. I think I’ll get in touch and see if they’d like a hand.

Author: Drew is Creative Director at justONE