Why CD Baby needs to be in the car biz

Written by on December 4, 2012 in Perspectives, Trends - 16 Comments

Last week, I did some Chrismakah shopping online and bought a CD from a genius outfit called CD Baby. I say “genius” because they followed up my order with the following email:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

 A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

 We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, November 26, 2012.

 We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

 Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 Sigh…

We miss you already. We’ll be right here at http://cdbaby.com/, patiently awaiting your return.”

I must have read and re-read that email a hundred times, it made me feel so good. I haven’t felt that special since an ex-boyfriend sprang for Barbra Streisand tickets. (unfortunately, that did not end well) That email was like a big hug from a total stranger, made more delightful by its unexpected appearance. I felt warm and tickled, like I’d just swigged from a mug of steamy hot cocoa with cinnamon sprinkles.

And all I had spent was $12.00 plus HST, and I was being treated like a hero. Why can’t other companies do that? More to the point, why don’t car companies do that? If I drop $20,000 or more on a car, it should be cause for champagne and celebration.

To be fair, there are some car people who put pomp and circumstance into a car delivery. One of my favourites is Heninger Scion in Calgary, Alberta, who literally treats their customers like rock stars – when a car is delivered, they makes a music video out of it!

Another car dealer who ramps up the volume when a client picks up a car is Toronto’s Auto Showplace, placing a celebratory photo of happy customers and their new purchases on the Auto Showplace Facebook page.

Now if CD Baby were in the car biz, you can bet they’d do their customers proud. Picking up a car? You’d be the star of no less than a 30-minute featurette with dancing girls, jugglers and elephants. For a crowning touch, they’d have the car driven in by a celebrity, who’d burst into song.

Okay, so maybe that’s a little over the top. But most of the time, it’s not so hard to make clients feel special, like their business really means the world to you. When someone goes shopping online, there are SO many choices. And there isn’t that face-to-face opportunity to make a memorable impression. So a smart operation will use every tool they have … like their imagination. They’ll give their clients an an excuse to come back for more by rolling out the red carpet at every chance.

When you buy a big-ticket item like a car, that should be a given. Let’s hope CD Baby fever catches on.

16 Comments on "Why CD Baby needs to be in the car biz"

  1. Doreen Pendgracs December 4, 2012 at 4:15 am · Reply

    Isn’t it the truth? Well chosen words and a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world when it comes to customer service. I wish Air Canada would take a few more lessons from West Jet. They’ve improved their service since customers started comparing them to WJ, but they still have a long way to go. Talking about good customer service really does help raise the bar.

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 5, 2012 at 12:23 am · Reply

      It really doesn’t take that much extra effort to make your customer feel like royalty. I also think this has applications beyond customers and for the people in your life that you care about, maybe even strangers. The whole random acts of kindess business.
      I haven’t flown West Jet but I have flown Porter. HUGE difference!

  2. Lubna December 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm · Reply

    Yes, little things go a long way in creating customer loyalty.

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 5, 2012 at 12:24 am · Reply

      And these days, customer loyalty is hard enough to find! The car companies USED to be able to tap into that, but these days, it’s a jungle out there. You need to find every possible avenue to differentiate yourself.

  3. Kelly Wade December 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm · Reply

    I would have done the same thing and read and re-read that email,how clever of them to do that I’m sure you’ll consider buying from them again. This reminds me of the pizza tracker on the Domino’s pizza website- although its used for a different purpose (so you know where your pizza is) its almost like the same thing. They want you to feel like the product they produce for you is special and meaningful to them too. What a good idea and you’re right that other companies should think about doing this to get loyal customers too!

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 5, 2012 at 12:27 am · Reply

      That’s a great example with the pizza tracker! How many pizza places are there??? It’s one way that Domino is setting themselves apart from the competition. Making the customer feel special is so important, however you choose to do it. And let’s face it, there are infinite ways of doing that, once you start using your imagination – and infinite benefits, as well.

  4. Jeri December 5, 2012 at 3:42 am · Reply

    I remember buying my first new car. It was a purple Plymouth Neon. The dealership pulled it into the showroom and took our picture, which they then printed with a banner on an 8×10. Then we got to pull it out of the showroom onto the street. That’s the only time we ever received treatment like that, but it made an impression. Twelve years have since passed and the cars purchased just keep getting more expensive, but nada in the form of customer appreciation.

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm · Reply

      No wonder you remember that, even 12 years later! If only more dealers made that kind of effort. It’s a small but significant way to make the customer feel like they’ve just won the lottery!

  5. Susan Oakes December 5, 2012 at 4:32 am · Reply

    Love the email Krystyna and very creative and simple. What i also liked is their line at the bottom which is a gentle reminder for you to get in contact again. Car companies or any company could make customer feel special and often it is the little things that can be memorable and mean so much.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 5, 2012 at 5:35 pm · Reply

      All it takes is a little ingenuity. And ingenuity, last time I checked, is free and doesn’t take much time. What I love is the sincerity of the email, even though it’s somewhat excessive. And yes, that little p.s. – often the first thing that people read – makes it more genuine.

  6. Hola BackGrinder December 5, 2012 at 6:56 am · Reply

    The cdbaby thing cracked me up, reminded me of a Smoove B. letter from the Onion! You are onto something though, I do marketing consulting and work when I’m not blogging myself and one thing I’ve found from talking to pros in the car biz is that a top shelf delivery makes all the difference in getting referrals and repeat business. Some dealers make a full production of it, driving the car into “victory lane”, doing a photo shoot and posting it online foir people, that kind of thing, and it always helps boost sales. Savvy car salesmen will spend over an hour after the papers are signed setting up all the electronics and going over every feature with the customer again so they make sure they know everything they need to know to drive happy.

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm · Reply

      Love the Onion! Interesting that there are more dealers out there making deliveries into a special affair. Plus these days with the complicated telematics, the customer really needs to have a mini-seminar on how it all works – that could be expanded into a fun event. In the old days, Porsche used to offer a driving course to new customers so they could make the most out of their new sportscar – wonder if anyone does that?

  7. Susan Cooper December 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm · Reply

    What a wonderful way to treat their customers. It is customer service like this that really makes a business successful. What a wonderful experience. :-)

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm · Reply

      It’s so easy to make the customer feel special – and I’ll bet the folks at CD Baby had a blast putting this together! So much more pleasant doing business with nice people.

  8. Becc December 10, 2012 at 3:06 am · Reply

    Doesn’t that make you want to return? Genius!!

    • Krystyna Lagowski December 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm · Reply

      Ya know?! When you consider I just stumbled across these people on the internet, as one of many different online sources for a particular CD. I’ll be sure to check their inventory first next time I’m shopping online.

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