Carter’s – Wonderful Customer Experience for this Grandma ~
I have a story about Carter’s that I wish to share.
I’m a Grandma of 12 (ages 21 months – 17), and like lots of grandparents, I love to shop for my grandkids. I am not too overindulgent, I think, but I love well-made apparel and if a bargain is tossed in… well, that’s the strawberry on top.
And speaking of strawberries, I was searching on-line earlier this week for a clothing item for my granddaughter Victoria, who is turning 5 in July, an item with a strawberry motif.
Since my oldest granddaughter’s first birthday 17 years ago (and every birthday since, for EACH of 12 grandchildren), I have selected a shirt/top that *means something special to the child that year, that birthday, and have it monogrammed with the child’s name and the date. Please don’t make me count how many shirts! And *oh, goodness – we’ve had princesses, cartoon characters, ballerinas, every sport represented, favorite athletes, a special town’s name, to name a few. This year, for example, my oldest granddaughter is taking a missionary trip to Nepal and I found a shirt with this country’s flag. I LOVE the search just to see the kids’ faces!
The kids have come to appreciate and love these special birthday tradition shirts, often trying to guess what that birthday’s theme may be. (And trust me that I often search long and far!)
But back to Victoria. She has a little different twist on her birthday tradition shirt that involves strawberries. I’ll take you back to the end of October 2012. My daughter Audrey and her husband had 4 young boys and had recently suffered a miscarriage. She had invited me to breakfast this day and we met at a little restaurant on a main street in a little neighboring town. I hadn’t been with her for a second when she announced, “I’m pregnant!” with the most radiant smile and hugs upon hugs. We ate, then stopped into a little gift shop, just gloriously poking around when I saw a little white onesie with a little strawberry embroidered on front. I told her that I wanted to buy this onesie with the strawberry for the baby because some of my most beautiful memories from my own childhood are of picking strawberries – fields and fields of strawberries – with my Grandma on her farm in Michigan. To honor my Grandma, I have a tattoo of two strawberries on my left wrist.
Strawberries mean everything to me — my Grandma and her beautiful face with deep wrinkles and a smile that touched the sun. Sunshine. Early Mornings. Fresh Air. Michigan. The Farm. My Family. My Grandma’s Roadside Fruit & Vegetable Stand – and so much more. That morning with my daughter Audrey and her glorious baby news and that onesie with the strawberry brought back each of these wonderful memories. Like magic.
I said to Audrey, “If this baby is another boy or a girl, this is a very special gift from my heart and my very own Grandma’s heart, too.”
I knew right then and there that this child’s special birthday shirt would always involve a Strawberry on it, somewhere.
In July 2013, we celebrated the arrival of a beautiful baby Girl, the adored 5th child and adored baby sister to her 4 brothers. AND my promise to honor this child and my Grandma with the Strawberry, the symbol of Love for its heart shape and red color.
Fast forward almost 5 years. I have found an item of clothing each birthday for our precious Victoria (also known as “Sissy”) with a strawberry motif. Let me tell you, though, it is not often easy! I start early, like now, for July!
Which brings me the l-o-n-g road back to my stop at Carter’s yesterday, the children’s store chain located in Seekonk, MA.
I had found an adorable girls’ shirt 3 days previously, with an adorable strawberry on it, at Carter’s on-line. I immediately added it in my cart and began the purchase process…
I had a problem logging in. OK. Try again later. I did try again later. Still, the site wasn’t entering my email address, and I tried signing in as Guest, too. Nothing.
OK. I waited until the next morning. Same thing. Now, I know in my mind that Carter’s isn’t going to sell out of this perfect shirt in a day or two. BUT WHAT IF?
The next day, I had an appointment with my husband close to the Carter’s location, so decided that I’d stop into the store. My husband asked why I hadn’t called on-line Customer Service (he knows how I get when I discover the perfect birthday shirt!), and I explained to him that Carter’s has THE BEST in-store customer service of any store – hands’ down. We own our own business, so we know a thing or two about excellent customer service. I told him that Carter’s should do seminars in Customer Service training.
You know what he said? “You’ve told me this before!” Indeed!
So off he went. And off I went to Carter’s. There, I explained to customer service rep Kris what happened during my on-line ordering. I had a photo of the Tee, and Kris helped me search the store.
No-where to be found.
Kris headed to the back room where newly arrived boxes were stacked and she began looking through the new merchandise. Friendly. Helpful. Knowledgeable. Patient.
The Strawberry Shirt was not to be found, but Kris asked if I’d like to order it there at the store and pick it up there at that location.
The store was getting busy, but there were other salespeople answering questions and working the other register. Kris didn’t rush me, making sure that I was ordering what I wanted. I truly appreciate this.
Kris was also patient when I added one more item to that order, a little hooded tunic for my youngest granddaughter Eve Sharon, for her 2nd birthday in May – with her special motif of Roses because she has my name Sharon as her middle name and my Dad loved Rose of Sharon. Eve will always have Roses just as Victoria will always have Strawberries.
Yep. I find my grandkids’ special birthday shirts with serious love!
And personal Customer Service with friendly, knowledgeable, kind people means everything and ADDS so much to a shopping experience.
Carter’s – Wonderful Customer Experience for this Grandma – impeccable!