Our summer intern, Lauren Krizay, wanted to find out what happened when she sent a little positive feedback to one of her favorite web services. Here’s what happened:
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Free food, pens, swag, apparel, it’s always better when it’s free.
Pandora Internet Radio, founded in 2000, is widely successful for its use of the Music Genome Project, a mathematical algorithm that organizes large quantities of music and predicts a person’s musical taste based off a small musical sampling. Members can utilize the radio service for 40 hours a month, across different mediums, for free. As if the free radio service, which has an uncanny way of introducing me to artists and playing songs that fit my musical preferences, wasn’t good enough, the customer service just made my experience a whole lot better.
After sending a positive feedback letter that detailed my loyalty to, and satisfaction with, the internet radio service and company to the Listener Support and Product Inquiries department, I was immediately contacted by an employee from Listener Support. In his e-mail, the employee explained that they appreciate my support, and would love to send a free gift.
Just a few days later, my soft navy blue t-shirt bearing the phrase “I [thumbs up] Pandora,” arrived in the mail [see above]. The t-shirt was accompanied by a letter that was personally signed in blue ink by the founder himself [see below]. These personal touches, and the time that the company took to express their gratitude for my support and loyalty, are unparalleled by other companies I have given positive feedback.
What’s important to take from this chain of events is:
- I am a very, very happy customer.
- This inexpensive and simple gesture for the company has already starting gaining them publicity and recognition within my social circles. After receiving the shirt, I put it on, and my Dad, a music enthusiast in his mid-50s who was unfamiliar with the company, asked me what Pandora was. No more than a few days later, I saw him setting up his own account.
People trust the judgment of their friends and family, and if I am willing to walk around in a shirt clearly demonstrating my satisfaction with the company, the people within my social circles will note the recognition, and be more inclined to give it a try or recognize their own satisfaction with it as well. This simple gesture is a win-win for both parties, and is something companies across the board should consider. Pandora gets not only free advertising, but also a super-fan.