Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Something Sweet

Last night we were watching the evening news, which is rare in our house. I usually try to stay away from network and cable news shows because they always seem to be slanted toward negative stories. And tonight was no exception. I think they should call it "bad news" instead of just "the news." Anyway, it reminded me that I wanted to share a positive story with you.

I believe that the energy we put out there is returned to us. When we believe the world is full of bad people and bad things, then that is what we see. Conversely, when we believe the world is full of good people and good things, that is what we see. My little story is a very small example of how one small action can leave a lasting impression.

A few weeks ago, we were at Target in the snack aisle and we picked up a bag of Snappers. In case you haven't heard of them, Snappers are a little stack of salty pretzels, lightly drizzled in chocolate with a drop of gooey caramel in the center to hold it all together. Each one is topped off with a sprinkle of sea salt. They also come in peanut butter flavor, but we haven't tried those yet.

As soon as Mark Johnson and I took one bite, we were hooked. Definitely the perfect combination of sweet and salty. And they were so fresh. The caramel was smooth and the pretzels were crunchy. Of course, we ended up finishing the small bag we bought within a few days. So when we saw another bag at a candy store the following weekend we picked it up.

That bag was nothing like our first bag of Snappers. The pretzels seemed stale and the caramel was hard and sticky. Instead of just tossing the package in the trash and moving on, I felt compelled to do something about it. (Plus, we had spent $4.99 on that bag of Snappers!) The back of the package talked about how Snappers were made by a fourth generation family chocolate business. Mark Johnson and I spent about half an hour on their website and learned that the company recently expanded into a new factory and they merged with another company.

If I was running a fourth generation family chocolate business with my picture proudly displayed on the back of each package, I would want to know if my products were not up to snuff. So I filled out a contact form on their website. Here is what I wrote:

We bought our first package of Snappers (Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel flavor) at the Target in North Olmsted, Ohio. It was the most amazing snack with soft, chewy caramel and fresh, crispy pretzels. We then went to BA Sweeties candy store yesterday and were so happy to see another pack of Snappers. These, unfortunately, were not as good. The caramel was harder and chewy and the pretzels seemed stale. There was no "snap" in our Snappers! Would you possibly be able to issue us a refund or send a coupon for another package of Snappers so we can try again?  We would love for Snappers to be our "go to" snack for the summer.
I have written to companies before about products, but it is not something I do very often. I just had a feeling that this was the type of company that would stand by their product, and I was right. The next day, I got a note from a woman named Jean in Customer Service. She apologized that the bag of Snappers did not meet their quality standards and she asked a few follow up questions about the Lot Number and Expiration Date. Then she said she would send me some coupons.

I already felt satisfied that they had responded to my e-mail so quickly. But a few days later, we got a package in the mail. It was a box that contained a giant bag of Snappers, along with a coupon and a note from Jean, the Customer Service Representative. And, it was packed with a cooling gel pack so the Snappers did not melt in the 90 degree heat we have had recently.

The new bag of Snappers must have literally come off the factory line, they were so fresh and delicious. After that interaction, Snappers has definitely solidified their position as our "go to" snack for the summer. Plus, the next time I want to send someone a gift of chocolates, there is a good chance I will go to the Edward Marc website and select Snappers or one of their many other treats.

It is amazing how a little bit of positive customer service can impact your impression of a company, not to mention generating brand loyalty. I thought a lot about Jean, the Customer Service Representative at Snappers. I wondered if she enjoys her job. So many people working in Customer Service listen to complaints all day, but Jean actually has a job that allows her to fix things and to go beyond just addressing the problem and focus on what would delight her customers.

That sounds like the type of company I would like to work for someday. And the type of company I wish so many more companies would try to emulate.

Note: This blog is not intended to be an advertisement for Snappers. But if you happen to read this and decide to go out and get a bag, then that is up to you. If you try the peanut butter flavor, leave me a note in the comments section and tell me if they're good!

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