Monday, April 11, 2011

an Open Letter to Local Mama's (grandma's and daddies too)

Dear Local Mama's (grandma's and daddiestoo),

I want to first and foremost tell you that we are here for you.  There are some great benefits to having a baby and maternity store right here in your community...even if we are an online only store. 

One of the things that we have done to show local mama's that we are here for them is to create a special shipping option called 'Free Local Delivery within the Cortez City Limits' so that local mama's don't have to pay shipping fee's when ordering in our online store.  If you live within the city limits, we will deliver your order right to your door within 1 business day or less.  If you are outside the city limits, but willing to meet me somewhere within the city limits to pick up your order, we can do that too, at no extra charge to you.

Another thing that we have done for local mama's as well as our not so local mama's is to switch our landline for a cell phone.  Now we are not restricted to only receiving calls 9-5, monday through friday.  I carry the store cell phone with me at all times so I can quickly answer a product question, assist with an order, or give advice when needed.  The only time I turn the phone off is a night when I go to sleep.  So we are always here for you when needed.

One other thing that we have done to help all mama's, grandma's and daddies too, is to add the service of 'Live Chat' to our store.  If I am sitting at a computer (at the office or at home), or near enough to the computer that I can hear the Live Chat signal, then it is 'Online', ready to assist you with any questions you may have while shopping in our store.  Sometimes a customer just wants to verify some details about a product, sometimes they need to ask a question about our shipping process, or clarify how to send an eGift Card.  Whatever the question, if the 'Live Chat Link' (found at the bottom of every page in our online store) shows 'Online' in green, then we are available to assist you right then and there.  If it shows Offline in red, you can still click on the link and send us an email which is sent to my phone so I can promptly respond to your question.

If you have ever wished that you had a mother, grandmother, daughter, or friend who owned a baby and maternity shop, who you could talk to about products that you may need, or to help you with online ordering, or who could pick up those emergency items and bring them right to you at the hospital after the new baby is born -well you do's us. We are here for you.

I feel that every customer that I connect with on a personal basis, through any of the methods above, has helped make them become like a friend or family member.  I enjoy connecting with people about anything related to babies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, babywearing, and even potty training.  Below are few scenarios that I have had the pleasure of experiencing with our local (and not so local) customers, that have given us the opportunity to show them that we truly are here for them.

A grandma called me while I was out to lunch.  Because our store phone is now a cell phone I was able to get her call so she didn't have to leave a message and wait for a return call.  Her daughter was still in the hospital and having some difficulty getting her new baby to latch on for breastfeeding.  Mom and baby were both getting a bit frustrated and the wet nurse suggested trying Medela Nipple Shields.  We figured out what size nipple shields her daughter needed, I took her order over the telephone, and within about 20 minutes of her call I personally delivered the nipple shields to her daughter at the hospital. 

The next evening (on a Saturday) her daughter ordered a nursing bra from us.  Since I was in town having dinner with my husband, I stopped by our warehouse/shipping center, processed her order and delivered the nursing bra to her while she was still at the hospital.  She told me that the nipple shields were really helping and baby was nursing well today.  Mom was so pleased with the new bra that was so much more comfortable then the nursing bra she had been wearing.  During this transaction, I got to meet a new mommy, see a sweet little baby boy, meet a proud daddy, and let a new family know that we are here for them.

One Sunday a few weeks ago, I got an urgent call from a young mom who had just returned from a vacation in California to discover that her tubing and breast shields from her Medela Breastpump had somehow not made the flight home with them.  It was time to pump and she was in a bit of a panic.  We figured out which pump she had, got the appropriate replacement tubing and shields together, processed her order over the telephone and within about 30 minutes I met her in the Safeway parking lot to deliver the supplies to her.  She was able to use her breastpump without missing a scheduled pumping.

One evening while we were on our way home from visiting our grandbabies in Arizona on a quick weekend, I got an email from a new dad in Oregon.  His wife had just had a C-section and their baby was in the NICU.  Mom was pumping her breastmilk for the new baby but she was having a hard time because she could not sit up without pain because of the surgery, so the breast shields would fill with milk and leak out the back side of the shield.  Her Lactation Consultant recommended that she get some Pumping Pal Super Shields because they are angled so that a mom can express milk while in a reclining position, and the milk would not build up inside the shield like it does with regular breast shields.  He had looked around their local stores and could not find them.  He needed them fast, but the online stores that he contacted would not reply to his emails and phone messages because it was on a Sunday and they were all closed.   They also could not guarantee to ship on Monday.  We chatted via email that evening about what size shields she needed, as well as a bit of mother-son conversation about breastfeeding, pumping, and new baby education to help a new dad learn about things that he knew nothing about.  We also talked about the importance of being extra supportive of mom because pumping rather than breastfeeding is a bit more difficult for a first time mom.  The next day (Monday) I sent the Super-Shields out via FedEx Express and she had them by Wednesday morning.  A few days after that he emailed me to let me know that mom and baby were doing well. The Pumping Pal Super Shields had saved the day.  I feel like a part of their little family now.

One, sort of funny, thing happened late one Saturday afternoon.  I received a call from a grandmother.  Her daughter was only able to nurse her baby with the use of Medela Contact Nipple Shield, but her dog had eaten it!  Grandma knew that we carried them but feared that mom and baby would not survive the weekend waiting until Monday to get a replacement.  We met grandma in town to give her two shields -she purchased a back-up just in case the dog had acquired a taste for them.  We had a good laugh over it, and mom and baby were back in business, so all ended well.

There are lots of other scenarios that come to mind, but these are the most recent ones that really make my heart feel good.  So local mama's and not so local mama's, know that we are here for you.  We are not in this business purely for our own benefit, we want to help whenever we can, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you need some assistance.  Local mama's please use the 'Free Local Delivery' option when ordering.  If you are still in the hospital, just mention that in the comment section when placing your order and I will bring the order right to you there.  If you need an answer to a question while ordering, or a little assistance completing your order, please try our 'Live Chat Link', or send me an email, or even give me a call.  I am always here for you.

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