It's Not About The Bag

I recently posted about a fledgling coffee company, Black Glove Coffee. To sum it up, they made a good first impression. So, I ordered some beans.

I received the coffee in timely fashion.
The packaging supported the image…simple and stylish.
And, the coffee is pretty good too.

However, what continues to impress me the most about this group is their efforts to make my experience personal.

Soon after my initial order, I received an e-mail from Gerard, the CEO, thanking for my business. He also asked for my feedback and a referral, assuming, of course, that I liked the coffee. My note was probably more personalized than most since he was also thanking me for my recent post. But, the point is that Black Glove continued to build a relationship with me once I made the order. That process actually started when I first heard the company name and perused their site. But, the real opportunity to gain my trust came with the delivery of the product (as promised) and the follow-up communication. Once the experience became more personal, it became meaningful to me. And, I was hooked.

After trying the coffee, I sent Gerard an e-mail with general praise for the product with one minor exception. I had some difficulty opening the bag. No big deal, I assure you. But, since Gerard “opened the door” for my feedback, I obliged.

Here’s Gerard’s response…

“Thanks so much Michael, we truly appreciate it.
the bag is a 4ml bag that is the top of the line in food. You can't
believe how long it took me to get it and to get it printed correctly. What
a trial of patience!
It may be hard to cut, but it is way beyond FDA regs and surpasses all the
food "standards" - we wanted something solid and protective for the
Next time around, perhaps we can get a "cut here" line, so thanks for the
And thanks for passing the link around.

This is a perfect example of how to build a relationship with your customer. Gerard’s response was timely, relevant (no pitches to buy something else) and honest. By telling the truth, he earned my trust. By telling the short story about the bag, he gave me an inside look into the company which made me feel special. And, once again, his personalized communication goes a long way to make the experience meaningful…and memorable.

So, the next time you order that batch of comment cards or go to sign the stack of form letter responses…don’t! Call Gerard, instead.