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When is a Luxury Brand a Luxury Brand?

When is a Luxury Brand a Luxury Brand?

Breakthrough Change example of awful customer service

When it fulfils all the promises, I guess? With the growth of Luxury brands our expectations of customer service from them are far higher than normal, so when they don’t live up to our higher expectations we are even more disappointed. One disappointment I have had this week is with TOD’s the luxury Italian shoe brand. Back in February 2014 I changed allegiance from UK brands Grenson & Church’s to the very stylish Italian brand TOD’s. I visited their impeccable store in New Bond Street, London. The buying experience was excellent in a very sumptious downstairs gentleman’s  showroom. I walked out with three new pairs of TOD’s.

In May 2014, I noticed the sole on one of my boots was coming away from the upper, this felt wrong as I had only had them 4 months and had worn them occasionally. I managed to take them back to the New Bond Street store where I bought them, with the receipt and was a bit disappointed when they offered to send the boots back to Italy for repair which would take 5 weeks, I was expecting a replacement and 5 weeks seemed a bit long, however the staff were again very friendly and I decided to go along with it. I was re-assured that they would contact me and did in fact buy another pair of TOD’s that day.

Fast forward to the 1st September 2014 and I had forgotten all about the boots until my wife reminded me and asked when they would be ready, that’s when I realised I had had no communication from the company whatsoever, how strange. So I was in London on the 2nd September and popped into the store to check on progress, to my surprise the assistant went in the back and brought out my boots! No one had contacted me, yet they had been ready for the past two months. I also had an unsigned letter in the box from an anonymous (no address) Customer Service department. The letter was pretty incomprehensible and if I am honest it would have been better not to have given it to me.

The boots I am pleased to say are back as new and a pleasure to wear. So what’s the harm, well having spent millions of dollars on building a brand through excellent design & craftsmanship, which I had bought into 100% this little experience of no real consequence has chipped away at my trust of the brand. Will I buy from TOD’s again, I don’t think I will.

For me the lesson is simple, if you are a luxury brand then all aspects of the customer experience should be luxury and first class. If all aspects meet this standard, you will have a newly acquired customer coming back again and again and spreading the word to their friends & family. The profit from that vastly outweighs the costs of replacing faulty goods.

Our aim at Breakthrough Change is to support luxury brands to build a first class customer experience across all the touch points that the customer has with you. To learn how we can create the first class experience for your customers contact John Walsh on +44 01438 727232.







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