Can exceptional customer service be born from a strong desire for well-made baby shoes? If you’re asking the people of the Provo based Freshly Picked Moccasins – heck yeah it can!
CEO and Founder of Freshly Picked, Susan Petersen, has hustled her way to the top. From an appearance on the t.v. show, Shark Tank, to seeing her shoes on the feet of the Hollywood elite’s children, Petersen strives to create a company that is as much about its customer as it is about the product. And just like so many other successful companies, Freshly Picked is one that comes from humble beginnings.
From Small Beginnings Come Great Things
Petersen was frustrated by a lack of quality shoes for her children. Ever the industrious and driven entrepreneur, she taught herself how to sew. Using her son’s foot and some leather scraps found at a yard sale, Petersen eventually created her first baby moccasin.
During the summer of 2009, Petersen convinced her brother, the owner of a window installation company, to give her the old windows he took out of homes. You see, Petersen knew that if she busted out the glass, she could get to the aluminum frame. At the end of the summer, she sold all of the aluminum she had collected for $200. This is where Freshly Picked got its start.
Customer Service that Dazzles
One thing that makes Freshly Picked stand out from other businesses is the way they treat their customers. They put a lot of measures in place to create a real sense of community with all of their customers. Whether it’s a potential customer trying to decide to buy their first pair of moccasins or if they are die-hards who have bought 5 pairs for each other their children, each customer gets a sense of belonging.
We got an exclusive interview with Jodi Petersen, the Customer Service Manager at Freshly Picked. She told us Freshly Picked customers aren’t just like family. They are family.
“Our customers are our family,” Jodi Petersen said. “We really feel like our customers are as much a part of our success as anything and we really want to make sure that they have a good experience shopping with FP.”
Susan Petersen echoes a similar sentiment about their customers and how much they mean to the company on MarthaStewart.com.
“I have some of the best customers around, they are loyal and amazing,” Susan Petersen said. “I really feel like they grew my business into what it is today.”
So what does Freshly Picked do differently to set themselves apart and have such a devoted customer base? Beyond taking good care of their customers, here’s what they are doing to create a brand experience that is all their own.
There Is No I In Team
Susan Petersen told MarthaStewart.com the best business advice she ever received was, “Do what you do best and hire out the rest.” She has empowered her business by hiring a support staff that believes in her vision and are passionate about the company.
“I have also been really lucky to have the best employees around. They are great to work with and see the whole vision of the company and are as dedicated as I am.”
Part of a customer service strategy that shines is to be surrounded by a team that is as impassioned about your goals and the good of the company as you. Once you find those passionate people, it’s important to keep them that way. A happy staff is a helpful staff.
Social Media Heavies
Connecting to their customers and fans on social media is Freshly Picked’s bread and butter. Any company can sign up on the various social platforms and start sharing content, and that’s what a lot of companies do. FP uses social to solidify customer relationships in addition to creating sales lead opportunities.
Susan is pretty much the queen of Instagram, and she has said that is where the majority of her customers are. They post often, and a lot of the adorable images that get shared are of her tiny customers in her products. They also use Instagram to connect with bloggers, answer customer questions, do giveaways and reveal new products. Sometimes they like to include behind the scenes posts that cover the happenings in their headquarters.
While the company does have an active presence on Facebook, it seems to be used mostly for giveaways and appears to be the home of a lot of their customer inquiries. They have a fast response time, too! Susan also uses these social platforms to do Entrepreneur outreach as a means of empowerment and education.
Jodi Petersen explained in our interview that their customer care team has really expanded due to the need for quick customer response times and the amount of customers. This allows them to get to all of those customer emails and questions posted on their social accounts as rapidly as possible.
“We have a couple of moms working from home who help us keep our response time as short as possible,” Jodi Petersen said. “One of them keeps an eye on thing on the weekends and one works during the evening and early morning.”
Blog for Connection
Sure, the Freshly Picked blog talks about its products. The editors also chose to include customer birth stories. Their reasoning? “We want this to be a resource for moms and future moms and a place for sharing and inspiring. Women become mothers in a million different ways.”
There’s a post from a mom who went into preterm labor. She details the scary events that started happening during her 20th week of pregnancy to the time she gave birth to her daughter. Another post details the opposite issue: carrying a baby longer than 40 weeks.
Beyond just sharing content their customers would find interesting or helpful, the posts are actually about their customers. It doesn’t get more connected or personal than that.
What’s in store for the future of Freshly Picked and its customers? Jodi Petersen says their customer service team is always finding ways to make the product better and that they always want their customers to feel connected to them.
“I feel like every day is a new learning experience for our team. It feels so good to solve problems and I love feeling like our product is better because of our customer service team.” Jodi Petersen continues, “I hope that our customers always feel like they are talking to a person and that on the other side of the computer there is someone who being an advocate for them.”
Which companies do you look up to as a customer service gold standard?