Tumi, the travel bag company, just caused me to do so.
After many years of going through travel bag after travel bag, I decided to buy a good quality one and after some online research I invested in a Tumi Frequent Traveller in July 2009. At $600 these things are a not cheap.
I figure based on my speaking calendar alone I put nearly a million air miles on the bag since then and together we've visited some 25 countries. The bag is clearly well used, with scuffs and dirt and scars from its adventures around the world.
I didn't have any trouble with the bag for nearly four years, which is much longer than any other bag I've owned. Already it had paid for itself.
So when the retracting handle broke, I figured it was time for a new one. I wondered if it could be fixed. Probably not, I thought, but it was worth a shot.
Great customer service like that from Tumi is excellent marketing
Thinking that I'd need to purchase a new Tumi (a million miles is more than "normal wear and tear" isn't it?) I went on Sunday afternoon to the Tumi retail store at Boston's Copley Place. Charissa took one look at the bag and said she could fix it by installing a new handle mechanism "but it would take a few days."
Cool, I thought. "Please do!"
Since I wasn't able to go back to the store to pick it up, I offered to pay to have it shipped to my home.
She wouldn’t hear of it and said they would send it back to me at no cost.
Yesterday afternoon, less than 48 hours after I left the bag at the Tumi shop, UPS delivered the repaired bag to my door.
The new handle works like a charm.
I went into the store expecting to replace the bag that served me well for four years. Instead, at no charge, it was repaired. Remarkable.
And here I am telling you.
In a world where most companies are only interested in today's transaction, great customer service like that from Tumi is excellent marketing. Some day when my bag is finally beyond repair, I'll buy another Tumi. I'm a customer for life.
And maybe you will be a Tumi customer too after hearing my story.
Or better yet, maybe you'll look at your own customer service to see how you can turn it into excellent marketing.