It’s 2012 and even though more brands are finally figuring out how to use social media, not all of them are doing it right. Some of them are still going for what Gary Vaynerchuk calls the “19-year-old dude” approach where they’re just trying to close on the first contact they have with you: “Hey, buy my stuff!!” Others aren’t quite as direct but they’re still missing a huge opportunity to really connect with customers.
Then, you have a company like Warby Parker. They make eyewear. But, they don’t just make eyewear. They make buying eyewear fun! They’re like the Apple of eyewear. An overstatement? I promise it’s not. If you’ve ever been to an optician or your local LensCrafters/Pearle Vision/whatever, I don’t think you’d ever describe that experience as being “fun.” It’s just necessary. It’s neither positive nor negative. It’s just something you have to do if you wear glasses.
Warby Parker changes all that. First off, they have a great site. It’s clean, crisp, and user-friendly. I’ve never been to one of their showrooms, but I can only imagine they must be as cool as the website. In any case, you figure out which glasses you like and can try them on virtually via their site. The technology isn’t perfect but it can help you narrow down which ones you’d like them to ship you (free of charge) to try on at home. The model pictures and descriptions about which face shape each particular frame fits help a lot. You get to pick five pairs. Two days later, five pairs of try-on glasses show up. You have five days to decide which frames you like. In my case, I decided in five minutes. I chose the Zagg frames in Revolver Matte Black. I then went to the site, uploaded the scanned copy of my prescription (make sure you get your doctor or optician to include your pupillary distance on the Rx), entered my payment information (only $95 for frames and lenses) and hit submit. I also packed up the try-on box with the prepaid return label and dropped it by The UPS Store the same day. They said my order would take up to ten business days. I got mine in three. My glasses fit perfectly and this is the first pair I’ve had in awhile that I really enjoy wearing. Also, I have VSP for my vision insurance and was able to get $75 out of the $95 I paid (frame and lenses) covered and no shipping. My only teeny tiny complaint is that they don’t break out the cost of the frames and lenses. If they had, my glasses would have been covered at 100% because I get $75 toward the frames and $30 toward lenses. But, $20 for glasses this awesome is pretty sweet. And, for every pair of glasses purchased, Warby Parker donates money to help buy a pair of glasses for someone in need. So, you’re actually being philanthropic by purchasing your new glasses!
How did I hear about Warby Parker? From another very happy customer on Facebook. They encourage customers to post pictures of themselves in either their try-on pairs or real glasses. They give you feedback right on their page. Very cool! Then, this happened: I tweeted to them how much I loved my new glasses.
They could have just Tweeted back which would have been nice but instead, I got something better! Yeah, sure…it’s only a personalized YouTube video. Anyone could do that. But, they don’t and that’s the key! I have to say that it kind of made my day and rounded out what was a fantastic customer experience from start to finish. And, if you read The Thank You Economy, this is a textbook example of how to use social media to scale human interaction. It really works. I doubt I would have been inspired to write this blog post if they hadn’t sent this.
So, thanks, Warby Parker. Keep up the great work and fantabulous customer service! Also, I was not paid to write this blog post. I just think they’re awesome. Check out my new glasses!read more