A tasty example of rescuing customer loyalty through social media
Sales Promotion Exercise
Sales promotion is a great way to announce new products or increase sales of existing stock as well as generating a buzz for new store openings. Krispy Kreme UK decided to go down the sales promotion route to increase awareness of their new shop at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol but they were slightly overwhelmed by demand. Luckily, Krispy Kreme are on their game when it comes to social media and thanks to their social media care, they really did make a little bit of magic happen last week!
New Branch Marketing Programme
Krispy Kreme is set to open their third Bristol branch this week. To promote the store opening, they decided to give away trays of doughnuts at The Mall in Cribbs Causeway in advance of the grand opening. They also had Krispy Kreme branded chef hats for the children that queued and the staff were clearly engaging well with Christmas shoppers.
As trolleys of Krispy Kreme trays were wheeled out on the upper level of Bristol’s largest mall, queues quickly grew. I was there shopping with a friend and saw a queue we found out it was the doughnuts so we joined on at the end. We queued for 15 minutes, both really excited at the prospect of 12 free doughnuts each as we’re both rather partial to Krispy Kremes and after all, the only thing better than a bargain pre-Christmas is free stuff.
As most people do these days, we took photos of the queue and put them on Facebook bragging to our my friends that we were getting a free tray of Krispy Kremes at the mall. So it probably served us right that when we were just three places from the front of the queue Krispy creams ran out of free doughnuts. Disaster! Having been excited about the prospect of some tasty goodies, we were left feeling disappointed as well as slightly annoyed that the queue hadn’t been checked against stock to prevent people wasting their time. What does one do in such situations these days? Take to twitter to vent frustrations!
Social Media Success
I tweeted Krispy Kreme and The Mall Cribbs Causeway to let them know of our disappointment – at the same time alerting all of my followers that we had been left painfully doughnutless. Yet, we received a reply, first from The Mall, and the following day from Krispy Kreme, both of whom picked up my tweet and replied offering an apology and letting us know that they would once again be giving away free doughnuts on the weekend.
I replied again to say that I would be unable to get back to The Mall but thanked them for their reply. They then followed me back on Twitter and asked me to send a direct message with my email address. They tweeted that they would do what they could to dispel our disappointment. Sure enough, the next day I received a message asking for my address so that they could deliver a tray of goodies to my door. I was grateful, but explained I would be out to work for the day from 10am. “No problem” came back the response from Krispy Kreme, we can deliver before 10am. And sure enough they did.
The next morning at 9.20am, there was a buzz on my intercom and a voice said “special delivery from Krispy Kreme”. I went downstairs to be met with a smile accompanied by not one, but two trays of special festive Krispy Kremes.
Generating Customer Loyalty
Very grateful to have a large multinational company treat me as a human being with feelings rather than a number or a small potential profit margin, I am pleased to say I shall be popping into the Cribbs Causeway Krispy Kreme branch every time I visit The Mall from now on. Due to my love of shopping, that means I should probably start increasing my weekly gym visits now.
This is what I would call an extreme example of achieving customer satisfaction and a fantastic example of how businesses can communicate with their target market through social media. Their ability to monitor and reply to customers quickly and effectively:
- Prevented a negative discussion about the brand
- Removed negative feelings towards them
- Restored customer satisfaction
- Created happiness and delight
- Caused a positive discussion on Facebook and Twitter
Social Media is more than a tool for driving traffic to a website and pushing sales, it gives large companies the chance to develop deep customer loyalty by communicating with them on a personal level. Advertising talks to a target market that many people are grouped into, but social media is a 1-2-1 conversation. When businesses embrace social media, they use modern technology to replace the face-to-face contact that made shopping a personal experience before the explosion of brands in the 1980s. I’d like to congratulate and express my gratitude to Krispy Kreme and The Mall, Cribbs Causeway for making me feel like a valued customer and not just a debit card holder.
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