Something I share with many, I guess, mostly men, is my aversion for shopping. The result is that just about everything I can buy online, I buy online. It rarely has anything to do with the price, or with price comparison but everything to do with convenience, selection, and availability. Also, I like to make my decision based on reviews – like Consumer Reports. So I can select products like appliances, office products, electronics, etc. I even bought my last car on-line.
Encouraged by my friends, who say I’m a good amateur cook, I’m (slowly) writing a cookbook, and I also recently started to buy spices online. Grocery stores in my neighborhood have a fairly limited selection of species. Not much over and beyond ready mixed Italian mixed herbs, bbq seasoning and so forth.
So I discovered www.spicesinc.com. The first time I bought dried juniper berries, which are great to use when marinating pork. The second time I bought mustard seeds (crush and use on baked or pan-fried salmon) and berbere (an Ethiopian spice blend used in stews).
But wait – what does any of this have to do with customer loyalty?
Well, some people say on-line shopping is anonymous, and impersonal. It does not have that human interaction that is so important sometimes. And here is my point. When the spices were delivered I found a personal note on the receipt. It said “Thank you for your 2nd order with us – we appreciate your business! – Glenna”. I don’t know who Glenna is. I don’t know if www.spicesinc.com does this with every returning customer, or not. But, she took care to see I was a returning customer and, and took the time, and the care, to write this little note. This, of course, makes all the difference. It was a happy surprise to discover this note, and suddenly www.spicesinc.com is not anonymous or impersonal any more. They are a “warm and fuzzy friend” and they earned my loyalty.
In fact, I think I saw that some of the basic spices in the pantry are getting low, so, I think it is time to stop writing and go order some black pepper!
With hot regards,