What the little guys can teach us

March 26, 2009

How on earth did we ever survive without e-bay and it’s amazingly efficient small business community?


I was telling a clever friend how my child was having trouble sleeping (sorry to go on about this, but lack of sleep is a subject that’s hard to move on from ) and she suggested I buy a story time CD to help him go into ‘the zone’. Within seconds I had jumped on e-bay and found what looked like to be a gorgeous CD called Little White Cloud by Tania Rose. It was being sold by a small business called Artscope Music in NSW. Perfect. Order placed. Payment made.

Within a few hours I received a lovely customer service mail telling me that payment had been received and the order would be dispatched ASAP. Here’s what they said: It’s our job now to get your package to you speedily. We take this part of our job very seriously and do our utmost to whisk it out the door and get it you ASAP. Yeah, we think it’s important to because we get excited about our own online purchases, so we understand how you feel.

That’s exactly how I felt! Sleep was coming!!!

THEN I got another mail telling me it had been posted. THEN within 48 hours it arrived in my letter box. Hooray!


The final package cleverly had a short newsletter-style welcome letter telling me a bit about the company (they are a small music company run by musicians for musicians), and a couple of flyers promoting the artist which looked great. There was also some cool (not in your face) information about how they’re doing their bit for the planet including printing in grey to reduce toner and packaging in jiffy bags that can be reused. The final touch was a handwritten sticky note  saying smiles to you, Tania. 

Because it looked interesting, brief and genuine I READ IT ALL!

Now, if only all the sales and marketing experiences I had with some of the bigger players were that simple…  I really engaged with this content because the information I received targeted my exact needs, turned me into a fan, and delivered an excellent product with pride and no fuss.

Their website by the way is www.artscopemusic.com.au and yes, my little guy slept.


4 Responses to “What the little guys can teach us”

  1. amber Says:

    yes yes yes!!!
    That is EXACTLY my experiece with these guys too!
    Hopefully the financial crisis will kill off some of these massive impersonal businesses, so everyone gets to buy from the little guys who take the time to make your experience all warm and fuzzy. I have had great purchasing experiences from places like Etsy.com and Ebay because i seek out those businesses who simply care about more than a sale. They care about how you feel about your buy. It makes you feel like your buying from your homely local store, and not some faceless corporation. And i know that they really do care about how i feel. It’s not marketing, it’s reality…it’s old-fashioned, and i like it!

  2. libbyvarcoe Says:

    I love it that you’ve pointed out the care factor Amber – it’s so true! The interesting thing is that I’ve worked for so many large corporations where there are wonderful small teams who genuinely care too, but somehow their good intentions get strangled by the system. And their communications come out all wrong. Let’s hope things turn around soon and that logic ultimately prevails.

  3. Jon Says:

    there once was a time when small businesses were seen as “unprofessional” if they didn’t use corporate lingo and pretent to be bigger than they were. People who set up businesses in the 1990’s and who got stuck in the “let’s pretend we’re a big guy” rutt, would these days struggle to make any kind of lasting impression. How do i know? i was one of those business owners who primarily failed because the old model didn’t work in the new world. We were out to impressother businesses, and as a result we forgot about the customer…i mean OUR customers…see, old habits die hard. A sad lesson it was to learn, and one i am still trying to get my head around 🙂

    • libbyvarcoe Says:

      Great point Jon. There is so much value in being honest about being a little guy. In fact I think my clients quite like it. They know who they are dealing with the whole time and like most little guys, I probably try harder to do a great job (afterall there’s no-one else to blame if things go wrong!). Here’s to being little and proud!

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