This is a story about how great customer service and trust in your consumers can get you a long way.
I went to the Chelsea Market for the first time a few weeks ago. My roommate at the time is a huge foodie, and we decided to explore together.
While wandering around the market, a guy (Jon) had a table near the basket shop and asked us to sample his hot sauce. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m obsessed with spicy food and am always looking for new hot sauce. So I said yes. The sauce was pretty good; beyond just spice, it also had flavor. I casually asked if this was his spiciest variety. He said no, I don’t have any on hand.
More importantly, Jon said, “If you give me your address, I’ll mail you a bottle of our habenero sauce and you can pay me back later.”
“Sure.” I’m only living in NYU dorms for the summer, so giving him my address was a fairly small risk. Besides, he’s a nice guy, and even if he turned out to be a bit nuts, we have security guards for a reason. If he didn’t send it to me, no big deal.
I gave him my mailing address and completely forgot about the whole incident.
A few weeks later, I checked my mailbox and was completely surprised that this random guy had trusted me and sent me a bottle of his habenero sauce. It would have been easy of me to ignore his invoice, enjoy the hot sauce, and forget about it. I mean, I’m moving in a few weeks. What was he going to do?
I didn’t. I emailed him back and asked how to best pay for it. A quick transaction later, and I was happily enjoying my bottle, guilt-free.
But this is an unbelievable story. Of course, I told my friends (and am telling you now). What are the chances in the one of the most jaded cities in the world that one stranger would trust another and really put himself & his product out there?
So here’s some free publicity for you. Thanks for the hot sauce and for the story. Best of luck in your endeavors! :)