4:36am, Thursday morning of last week, I awoke to a crunch. My flimsy $100 mattress had finally given out on me. It’d served me well, being one of the first things I bought since immigrating to America from England, but now it was time to be a grown up and invest in a real mattress. I propped myself up on my broken bed-springs, popped my laptop open, and started browsing the web to find some recommendations.
One business name kept surfacing in the forums I visited. Their name was Tuft & Needle, and their promise was simple – “Great sleep at a fair price.” One of the first things on their website to catch my eye was this statement:
“We thought there were too many zeros in a mattress too.”
“Finally, someone’s on my side!” This headline was not only attention-grabbing, but it spoke to me – yes, I wanted a good investment, but I also had wondered if I really needed to pay thousands for a bed. My pain point (aside from the broken spring in my butt) was that mattresses just seemed too expensive. And that was blocking me from seriously shopping for one.
Their whole site was impressive. Clean text, clear product images, diagrams that instantly made sense to me, and a simple design that got to the point, as if their web designer knew I’d be browsing half-asleep in the middle of the night. Then I found the one thing that made me go from interested website visitor to impulse buyer (complete with credit card in hand) – this review…
“When I first ordered my mattress, I opted for the 5-inch thick version, simply because I wanted to save $100 over the 10-inch version. But when I realized the 10-incher would be better for me, Tuft & Needle actually allowed me to upgrade by charging me the $100 difference. All I have to do now is donate the 5-inch mattress to a charitable organization and present Tuft & Needle with a receipt from that organization.”
Just one review, from one happy customer, and within 4 minutes I had placed an order for my own Tuft and Needle. Why? Because this review showed me that they were not only confident in their product, but they wanted their customers to be happy above all else. They wouldn’t be able to re-sell the ‘used’ mattress, but the happiness of the customer is worth more to them than the cost of a donated mattress. As it turns out, that decision bought them a new customer – me – and undoubtedly many more.
The point I’m trying to get at is that reviews count. Reviews count a HUGE deal. As Jason says in his eBook 13 Rockstar Tips to Get Reviews (That Don’t Suck), “It is important to evaluate the cost of possible negative reviews and multiply those as they accumulate over time.” By the same token, it’s important to understand how far a kind gesture to a happy customer will go. Tuft & Needle has earned a huge portion of their business through word of mouth, and doing the right thing. Customers don’t quickly forget that (and if you’re really lucky, they’ll blog about it).
What happened next? Well, I continued to read up on them, and found out a few interesting things. They’ve only been in business since 2013. That means that in the space of a year, they’ve gone from nameless start-up to a company I can stumble across during random web browsing at 4am. Their Amazon page already has hundreds of reviews, and their footprint spreads much further than just a few tired mattress review sites. So far, I’ve found articles about them on Fortune, Entrepreneur, Fox, and plenty of other news sites. Their business model works incredibly well.
I want to mention as well, their ordering process is delightful. While I might not have my delicious marshmallow-of-a-mattress yet, I can enjoy the comfort of multiple emails letting me know each stage of my ordering process, as well as a reply to my tweet. They’re super responsive, and I can sleep somewhat-soundly knowing that I’ll have no issues dealing with them, even if the product that shows up at my door fails to address all of my diva demands.
My takeaway message? Reviews count! If you believe in your product, don’t be afraid to show it. Treat your customers like humans, and understand their pain points. Spend a little money making sure your customers love you. Also, have a kick-ass website that sells to each and every visitor, the moment they click onto the page. Oh, and you spend a third of your life in bed (more, if you work from home like me), choose your next mattress with care (and get a buckwheat pillow for yourself – thank me later).
-Helen, Jason’s British Brain