Brands I Trust

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Being trustworthy is of great importance to me. I want my friends, family, and customers, even strangers to feel a sense of trust when they meet me in person and interact with me online. My personal social media accounts are largely private, as I do not want to trust the wrong people with access to my information, photos, and friends. I am always surprised by people who have everything wide open, full disclosure, the ultimate action in trust. Because I value trust so highly, I am also not quick to trust – it is something that truly must be earned. I only follow a few brands on social media for content that goes beyond the occasional flash sale. I appreciate brands that use social media to engage, correct mistakes and wrongdoings, and manage and foster relationships with those loyal to the brand. J. Crew always sticks out to me as a trustworthy brand with a strong social media presence that they use for good.

J. Crew uses each platform of social media to connect with a different user and customer. Their posts go beyond sales and new merchandise, but also encompass a greater lifestyle of casual living. Currently, they are highlighting beach days and summer living. J. Crew has over 1.2 million likes on Facebook and over 259,000 followers on Twitter. The certification and accountability of so many followers makes it easier to give my trust to a company. More than 30 of my friends on Facebook “like” J. Crew. This form or recommendation carries a lot of weight in giving trust away.

J. Crew even has a specific Twitter account simply to interact with customers and ease the pain of returns, deal with issues, and accept praise. Because I am so aware of social media use and CRM through social media, brands that interact with customers regularly, quickly, and efficiently on social platforms already have a leg up in the trust department.

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Because J. Crew has my trust, not only am I more likely to shop in their stores and trough their website, but I am also more likely to recommend them to friends. The ease of purchase, the friendliness of the staff, and the level of interaction online are all worth recommending.

I recently had an experience with J. Crew through their online help “chat” window. I missed a flash sale by a few hours, but the woman I chatted with graciously extended it for me, and gave me free shipping! I was quick to share my happiness on social media. After all, what it is the point of everything we are learning if we can’t pay it forward?

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6 thoughts on “Brands I Trust

  1. Hi Lesley,
    I worked at JCrew for a year when I wanted some extra cash, so I know firsthand just how focused on the customer experience they really are. It is amazing how willing they are to constantly help a customer out and extend an offer as much as possible. It has definitely ruined me sometimes when I shop with a brand that isn’t on their level since it makes me not want to buy with them! I love companies that are so willing to jump in and create a solution to a problem. When companies fight me on something that I really think shouldn’t be a big deal, it really frustrates me and while I don’t lash out on social media, I do tell all my friends my frustrations. Like you said, you pay forward the good experience, but it is just as important when people pay forward the bad ones. The story used before social media got so big was that a happy customer would tell 1 person and an unhappy customer would tell 50. Now with social media, the playing field has been levelled, but a great company will always have the upper hand! Great post!

  2. Thanks for the insider insight, Amanda. I agree, positive experiences are talked about less frequently than negative. I think there is a vindictive nature in a lot of people where less people have the supportive nature. Because a large part of my business is based on customer service, I try to be hyper aware of the experience each customer is receiving (and the experiences that I receive when I am the customer). That being said, we all have bad days and sometimes that is reflected in both the customer service we give, and how we interpret the customer service we are given… if that make sense. Everyone, and every brand, deserves a second chance, but a consistent positive, attentive, and engaging experience is key in my eyes.

  3. Hi Lesley,
    I really liked that you talked about J Crew in your blog post. I actually covered J Crew’s social media habits for one of our previous classes and I have to agree with you…they do a great job. I like that they are always posting new content. A lot of it serves as the inspiration to my outfits and it definitely impacts my buying habits. I think it is awesome that the woman in customer service was able to extend the flash sale for you…that’s customer service done right! As Justin talked about in our lecture, being reliable and helpful can make a huge impact on followers. I’m sure they have a very loyal customer in you. Your experience makes me like this brand even more! J Crew is doing it right. I wish more brands would realize this and try to connect with their customers like J Crew has done!

  4. I agree. As a J. Crew addict, I am pretty inclined to shop there regardless. However, when a customer service rep really goes above and beyond to provide an awesome experience (and make something a little more affordable), I am truly impressed.

  5. I think brand trust, in this case J. Crew, is a commodity that companies have always found value but now with social, the stakes are higher.

    Companies know if they don’t elicit great customer service, they’ll get blasted on social media platforms. That type of negativity is the worst possible from a brand relation standpoint. However, on the flip-side, when companies do give great customer service, as noted in your experience, the positivity their company receives is something that can’t be bought.

    I find it interesting more companies don’t model themselves, in terms of customer service, after companies like Zappos, J. Crew or Nordstrom. Although social hasn’t been around a long time, relatively speaking, the results are evidently clear: Have the best customer service and brand ambassadors will advocate on the company’s behalf.

    Why don’t CEOs use this to their company’s advantage is beyond me. This customer-first attitude starts at the top and trickles down. It even trickles down to social where it potentially opens a floodgate of good.

    1. I agree. Customer service is of utmost importance and social is just and avenue to provide such a service. A well rounded social media plan should, in my eyes, be part of a much larger customer service plan. Certainly it encompasses marketing aspects as well, but as you said, great experiences and customer service are experiences that can’t be bought. Thanks for the feedback.

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