What’s a business without a quality customer service department? Next to futile.
Simply put, if I’m giving a business service, I’m inclined to return if the customer service is top notch. If it’s not, the likelihood of recurring purchases is low.
I’m going to write about two extreme ends of the spectrum today. Roots of Fight and Death Wish Coffee.
First, let me write about Death Wish Coffee.
I’ve never had Death Wish’s coffee before. However, that will change in the next day or so, as just a few days ago I ordered their original Death Wish Coffee as well as their Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend (influenced by guitarist Zakk Wylde) coffee. Despite having not tried their product yet, I already love them. Yes, it’s because of their customer service.
I inquired with them about the amount of caffeine in their product and congratulated them on their upcoming Super Bowl commercial this Sunday. I received a speedy reply, and the guy who e-mailed me, Kane Grogan, did so with zest. I also had another exchange, with customer service rep Sierra Meisser, and she was terrific. Both handled my questions with gusto and delight.
Wanna know how to acquire and retain customers? Have a customer service department that mirrors Death Wish Coffee. They are the cream of the crop of customer service in the realm of the business world. Bravo. I love you guys and I haven’t even tried your product yet, but you best believe when I take a sip of that strong brew I’m already biased in your direction. Mike Brown — Death Wish Coffee founder — is the fucking man. Everybody who has put their blood, sweat and tireless hard work into that company deserves a gargantuan pat on the back. I love seeing people hustle and win! Most importantly, I love seeing good people come out on top. I can already tell that Death Wish Coffee is comprised of good people!
Most of all, the folks at Death Wish Coffee treat you like one of them, a valued customer yet one of them, another person. There’s no arrogance. There’s no disregarding you. There’s love, appreciation and respect. I doubt they’ll ever have the time, but they should send out a customer service handbook to flailing companies.
Here’s another example of top notch customer service. This is an excerpt from a post written by Death Wish Coffee megafan Jason Heath (from his blog, which you should check out, ’cause he’s a cool dude):
Who could withstand the Juggernaught that Is Death Wish Coffee and its legion of fans that span the country from all walks of life? Reality stars, musicians, and maniacs like me.
All loyal customers. You know why? Fast friendly service. You got a problem, you just call. they fix that shit. No questions.
Mug chipped? Replaced.
grinder broken? Replaced.
lost in the mail? Motherfucking replaced.
ive called before and talked to the owner who happened to answer the phone that day. Friendly as fuck. He has answered my emails. Kane, Teah, and John have all corresponded with me on various occasions. They dont think that they are too good to talk to us.
they team up with Deneen Pottery to make us these sick ass mugs. The only way it could be better is if i got a #1 in the run, or #666(the mugs are numbered) to flaunt.
They listen to our ideas and even sometimes use them. They really fucking listen.
i have been drinking the Death Wish for a few years now. I have never been disappointed.
These guys have contests to see who is #FueledByDeath so they can see what you do with that crazy caffeine concoction that is Death Wish Coffee. I may have participated. I may have emerged victorious.
I loved every fucking moment of it.
Death Wish Coffee not only does coffee but customer service, too… just like every business should (customer service, not the coffee). I can’t wait to try out their coffee. I already know I’m going to love it.
Time to touch on the other end of the extreme: Roots of Fight.
First and foremost, I want to make it known that I love Roots of Fight’s clothing. I have a plethora of t-shirts. I have three Muhammad Ali/Cassius Clay tee’s, multiple Mike Tyson tees, the entire BJ Penn collection they released last March (thanks to my loving, generous girlfriend), the new James Braddock “Hell’s Kitchen” tee, the Bas Rutten tee, the Freddie Roach tee… they are fantastic shirts. They are at a premium price, but they are worth the money.
However, before I touch on their customer service, let me get this out of the way:
1.) The shipping costs, even domestic, are horrendous. If somebody is already paying $34-39 bucks for a t-shirt that most definitely didn’t cost much to make, the shipping should not be more than $4 dollars.
2.) The ‘sales’ are abysmal. Shirts may be discounted about $5 or $6 bucks, which is really just knocking off most of the shipping prices. None of the sales Roots of Fight have had has compelled me to buy, and many other RoF fans on Instagram and other social media platforms have echoed this disappointing sentiment.
Alright. Let’s go.
Roots of Fight’s customer service sucks.
I love their clothing, but again, their customer service leaves much to be desired. You can’t return shirts. You can exchange them, but you can’t return them. Oftentimes, customer service won’t reply, for reasons undisclosed by them.
Every single Roots of Fight shirt I have is in the size Large. They all fit perfectly, except my gray Mike Tyson “Brooklyn’s Own” t-shirt. It fits like a small medium! I contacted customer service about this (it was a Christmas present) and never received a response; when I contacted them the second time, I was told to deal with what I have (paraphrased)! It’s as if they took this shirt, threw it in the dryer and allowed it to dry up and then sold it as a large. Unfortunate. Now I have a shirt that is tighter than hell on me (a damn near 6’3″ 230-pound man) that’s uncomfortable as hell to wear, that Roots of Fight couldn’t be fucked with to take responsibility for.
Last January, they adverised the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson line. I was excited as hell. I grew up watching Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock on WWF (now WWE) wrasslin’ when I was a kid. I’m 25 now and still a big fan of The Rock. I was pumped up for his Roots of Fight clothing line to be released. They advertised it for June of last year.
And so June of last year rolled by. No ‘The Rock’ line. I contacted them and received a response three days later claiming to “just sign up through the e-mail notifications” and that they had plans “very soon” for The Rock’s clothing line to drop.
It’s now February. No sign of the line whatsoever.
Business tip number two: be honest with your customers. They’ll appreciate you much more.
The biggest proverbial middle finger from Roots of Fight in all of this was their response to a collective group of fans who’d voiced their opinions on social media sites, in regards to The Rock line. They released a fuckin’ Lip Sync Battle hoodie. What the fuck is this generic ass shit?
Furthermore, they never feature their fans on their social media pages. If you tag them in something on Instagram, they’ll never click ‘like’/’heart’ on any of your pictures, despite the fact that you’ve poured a horde of money into their products. But oh wait, lo and behold, when a celebrity — even a semi-famous one — sports a Roots of Fight product, then RoF is all over that shit. They’ll ‘like’/’heart’ their shining endorsements and feature them on their page.
Business tip number three: don’t forget about your consumers — the majority of your customers — who are the working class that are the reason you’ve succeeded in the first place.
Roots of Fight, a clothing company, needs to start taking business tips from Death Wish Coffee, a coffee company.
With the way things are going, if Death Wish Coffee sticks to their guns and Roots of Fight refuses to rectify their poor customer service habits, then we are going to see a massive shift, as Death Wish Coffee will soar to beautiful heights in regards to success and Roots of Fight will begin to falter as a company.
You have to take care of your customers. That’s business 101.
Before some snarky fucktard comes on here and says, “Oh, yeah? What’s your business acumen?”
You don’t need any ‘business acumen’ to know what and how customer service is and should be executed. It’s about the fundamentals, something a monkey can grasp.
I’m a combat sports fanatic and I love Roots of Fight’s clothing, but my desire to do business with them is iffy going forward. I find myself hesitant.
However, with Death Wish Coffee? I can’t wait to try their product and do some more business with ’em! Maybe I’ll pick up some mugs and one of their kickass lookin’ hoodies (if it comes back in stock).