by Jake Christie

CUSTOMER SERVICE.
a story.

Kevin and Maureen Appleseed started the Appleseed Snack Company with one promise – anybody who called the company to talk about their products would talk to one of them. It was right there on the label of the first apple cupcake: “Questions? Comments? Give Kevin or Maureen a call.”

Appleseed Snack Company started selling snacks in a couple of local stores, with their home number on the cupcakes. A local mother who knew Maureen called to tell her how much her kids liked the cupcakes. The company expanded to more stores with whoopie pies, danishes, muffins, and granola bars. One day they got a call from a company that wanted to distribute their snacks throughout the tri-state area. Kevin picked up the call himself, of course, on the first ring.

Appleseed Snack Company moved into its own building, one with a massive kitchen and a shipping dock. Kevin and Maureen moved into the offices upstairs.

The customer comment line continued to go directly to Kevin and Maureen's desks until one fateful day when there was an apple recall. Hundreds of phone calls flooded in. People waited on hold for twenty, thirty, forty-five minutes. Kevin and Maureen finally asked their secretary to help answer the phone. “Just say you're Maureen,” they said. “Nobody will know the difference.”

Today, if you call the Appleseed Snack Company, you will always talk to Kevin or Maureen. Sometimes Kevin will have a southern accent, and sometimes he will sound like he's from Boston. Sometimes Maureen will have a husky voice, and sometimes she will sound as sweet as sugar. But the phone will always be answered, “Hello, this is [Kevin/Maureen] Appleseed, founder of the Appleseed Snack Company, how can I help you today?” And you will never, ever be on hold for more than two minutes.


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