20 November, 2014

More than just a missing slipper

"We received a lovely letter addressed to the kidswear department, really beautiful, saying this young boy, Thomas, was searching for a missing slipper. The family had sent in a gorgeous photo showing him wearing one small slipper and one large slipper – making his feet hurt. I thought Yammer was quite new to people so why not write Thomas's story there? I wanted to use the story quite creatively and used the photos the mum had sent in (without showing his face). It was the story that seemed to captivate people because it went quite viral inside M&S after that! 

"All that time, we were in contact with his mum¬ – we wrote back saying that we were really sorry and they were trying to find one on the new internal system – then his mum sent back an email showing how Thomas was really proud with his letter. We simply had to find the right size, and eventually the team at Waterside were able to send a brand new slipper set direct from our factory.

"I think making a connection with our customers is so important. Stories like this really illustrate it. If you actually take the time to think – it seems like a massive thing that we've done but how important was it to that little boy? and what does it say about how we value all customers? I think it's amazing that as a company we could go to that effort to do it. But I think it gives a lesson as well that we need to take the time to think about why it's so important to that person. 

"The other thing that really made me think was how you engage and connect with people. If I'd have just gone on and filled in a stroke number and said look in your Sale section, probably nobody would have responded. But it's taught me that if you tell people a story, and why it's important, then you get a response. And we always talk about that as a company; that you have to tell the 'why'. Why is it worth bothering looking for this slipper? Because a little boy has actually taken the time to take these photos at home and his mum has written a card – that's why it's important."

Inside M&S