Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Send a Swatch, Make a Friend

Here’s the quandary when we started.

We figured most people would be very happy to know that we’ll send them swatches of our fabrics for free, which we do. We also think it’s reasonable to expect bridesmaids and brides to want a physical sample of the color they’re choosing for their dresses. We also know that a bride shopping for bridesmaid dresses is going to have some wedding-wide color issues that go beyond the bridesmaid dress, including flowers, tablecloths, flatware, etc. Because of the huge role that color plays in any wedding, we feel we have a responsibility to provide as much information to the bride as possible.

So our core belief is that we should provide samples to customers especially since we operate entirely online. On the other hand, we didn’t want to be bombarded by requests from 7th grade girls who think it’d be cool to get swatches from a dress company.

We therefore came to the conclusion that we would provide the swatches for free but wouldn’t make it a FAQ on the site. Our philosophy was to freely give the swatches to those who made the effort to ask for them figuring that this would limit the amount of 7th graders requesting fabric.

Those who contacted us about obtaining swatches were generally surprised to find out that we were willing to send swatches for free, probably because they’d seen other companies charge as much as $15.00 per swatch for this service. If you are thinking about buying from us then we think it’s our responsibility to get you what you need to make that purchase – and if that means sending a small sample of the fabric you may use then, to us, that’s well worth it! Forunately, so far, time has proven us correct.

Now, here are our revised thoughts on the matter:

Maybe we were too cautious in our approach to the junior high school kids. I mean, really, what do they want the swatches for? Even if our worst fears are realized and an entire 7th grade class asks for each of our colors, at least they’ll remember our name later on (hopefully). However, the biggest contributing factor to the change in philosophy is our discovery that the simple “swatch request” gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other and to demonstrate how Coco Myles works in terms of getting back to you almost immediately after you contact us, getting you what you want (the swatches) in a pretty package and for a great price ($0), with friendly customer service along the way. This process creates good feelings for both sides. It also makes a nice template for future transactions involving the dresses.

Because of the positive client relationships that we’ve developed from the swatch request, we think it's time to make our customers more aware that we will send them swatches for free! We’ll probably be adding a FAQ to this effect in the next day or so. If we get deluged with requests then we’ll respond as best we can. At present, we’re able to send our swatches out the same day they’re asked for so long as the request is received before 4:00 pm Eastern Time. All others are sent the next day. Hopefully, we can keep this effective process in place.

So for you Coco Myles fans who can’t let a day go by without reading our FAQ section, they’ll be a new one coming soon that’ll let our customers know that Coco Myles will be happy to send swatches to them for free!

And let’s not lose sight of the power that a simple swatch has to bring people together!