Blank Label is a custom menswear company making extraordinary personal fit part of their customers’ everyday wardrobe. We got to chat with their head of support, Danielle Buchannon, who handles all of their online and phone support requests, and CEO Fan Bi to learn how they keep customers happy in the tricky space of custom clothing.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite: What’s your most memorable customer moment?
Danielle: My favorite customer experiences are when they take the time to reach out and let us know how much they love their Blank Label garments. It’s always refreshing to hear how we’re able to completely transform the way their shirts/suits/pants fit, as well as the way they dress.
Recently, a customer emailed in to let us know that his new Blank Label dress shirt was the absolute best piece of clothing he had ever owned. It was his first time ordering with us, so this was really great feedback to receive. He had ordered his first shirt online, and was really interested in coming in to our Boston Pattern Room to be fit for a suit. He lives in New Hampshire, so it would require a day trip to Boston solely to come visit our Pattern Room. I sent him some suit swatches that paired well with his Blank Label shirt, as well as a handwritten note inviting him into our Pattern Room, and I also added a credit to his account to put towards his new Blank Label suit. He emailed back just to let us know that he was really impressed with our customer service, and had never had such a personalized experience with a company before.
That’s incredible. Aside from great notes like this, what does success look like for you?
Danielle: After we help a customer with an issue we send them a simple satisfaction survey and gauge how we’re doing based on that.
Fan: We track retention, reorder rates and referral rates very closely and use those as indicators as to whether or not we’re doing the right things and focusing on the right customers.
60 days after a customer makes a purchase we send an email from me asking about their experience. That feedback is shared with the entire company.
How do you work with frustrated customers?
Danielle: We address the issue right away. As soon as we know what’s wrong we apologize immediately, then follow up with solutions. Our goal is to fix the problem quickly and have as little back and forth as possible.
Fan: There’s a lot of grayscale in our support because we’re a custom clothing company. We can’t put items back on the shelf. We put our return policy on the site stating that we can’t give refunds, and we send order confirmations before the order is placed, but we’re still often in tricky situations with complaints. We’ll always respond to reasonable requests, like remaking an item, and for the ones that conflict with our policies we do our best to explain why their request just isn’t possible for our type of business.
Do you have any other advice for a company building their customer experience team?
Fan: One change we’ve been making over the last few years came from a realization that we’re not doing much for our best customers. In the beginning we spent a lot of time putting out fires with finicky customers who may not even be a great fit for us. That seems wrong. So we try to spend an intentional amount of time working to MSD – make someone’s day. We’ll send great customers a note with a pocket square, or a scarf in the winter, or dry cleaning credit to make their day. We strive to spend as much time delighting our best customers as we do fixing customer issues.