I’ve been a Boden customer for a while. It didn’t take me long to work out that if I held off ordering for a few weeks into the season, mailers would land on my doorstep and in my inbox with increasingly good money off and free delivery offers.
Which was fine and fair – I was swapping the certainty of everything I wanted being in stock and available to wear from early September for what I saw as a ‘regular customer’ discount.
So this year, I was a bit peeved when The Sunday Times & Red magazine carried promotions offering all their readers (and anyone else who had access to the discount codes) 15% off with free delivery & returns. Which didn’t make me feel like a very valued customer seeing as my inbox at the time was full of measly ‘11% off’ offers.
These Boden mailers also contained lots of ‘contact us’, lets-have-a-conversation, type stuff like ‘we welcome comments on any aspect of our service and would be pleased to hear your views on how we’re doing’.
So I dropped them an email pointing out that they weren’t exactly making me feel like a valued customer. Their response?
Thank you for your email.
I am sorry to hear of the confusion caused by our recent offers. The reason
we are able to offer such an offer in the Sunday Times or Red magazine is
the free advertising we receive. The Sunday Times or Red benefit from the
offer for the customers and we save on advertising. This saving can then be
used to subsidise the extra incentive. Unfortunately, we operate on very
tight margins; we simply could not afford to offer such a promotion off our
I hope this makes our position more understandable and, if we can be of any
more help, please let us know.
So, lets see:
‘we simply could not afford to offer such a promotion off our own back’
Well, you did to me last year (and on MiniBoden on the 4th of September this year too)
‘The Sunday Times or Red benefit from the offer for the customers and we save on advertising’
And why, exactly, should that concern me?
So I’m still cross with Boden for not valuing my custom more than brand-new-customers. In fact, I’m much crosser than before I contacted them. Which raises an important point – having a two-way conversation with your customers is all very well – so long as your customers come out of it feeling more positive about your brand and business.