White Saddle

To say Dave T. ~ Public Relations Dude ~ is a cycling enthusiast, is like saying  the Puerto Rico Trench is “sort of” deep. Let’s just say he really loves his bicycle and the sport in general.  A while back, Dave and I were talking about the new bike he had just purchased. It was in the office during this conversation and to be honest, I think just a single wheel from my old 10 speed bike might have weighed more than his new bike. It’s a beautiful piece of engineering. During the conversation, the story of the bicycle saddle came up. The saddle on his previous bike was black….which didn’t quite match the color scheme for his new two-wheeled acquisition.  Dave needed a white saddle.

Dave contacted the company who sold him the black saddle, Cobb Cycling (www.cobbcycling.com) located in Tyler Texas. Dave’s request was simple, he wanted to send back the black saddle and exchange it for the same model, but in white.  Dave expected to be charged, since the black saddle had been used for about 3 months. On the other end of the e-mail was Ginger Cobb, daughter of the owner  and a customer service rep. Ginger’s response was that she would send a white saddle (see picture above) with a return UPS slip for Dave to send back the black saddle….NO CHARGE! Seriously, no charge! Ginger didn’t even want the black saddle sent first. Plus, the shipping for both saddles was free.

Zappos (www.zappos.com)  is well known for their Free 365 Day Return Policy. It’s a great policy and economies of scale certainly help. Without having any empirical evidence, I would bet my next lunch that  the shoe industry has a much larger customer base than the specialty racing bike saddle industry…just a guess. That’s the interesting part of this. Cobb Cycling is relatively small but their exceptional approach to customer service has made Dave a loyal customer for life and more importantly a brand evangelist. He knows other cyclists and you can be sure he’ll tell the Cobb Cycling saddle story. Is there a better way of marketing than to have your customers spreading enthusiastic and sincere testimonials to their circle about your brand? 

Mark Bastin – The Mann Group

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