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Learning lessons from other brands in 2020

2020 will go down as a truly memorable year, for all the wrong reasons. While Covid-19 looks increasingly likely to play out well into 2021; with a vaccine already being rolled out nationally, hope is emerging for a time of renewed vitality. The Kinalba team discussed learnings from how other brands approached 2020; and what can be applied into Kinalba.

Interviewer [JS]

2020 brought a period of enforced reflection and reaction. Looking at this from a customer experience point of view, what lessons do you feel you can take out of your own experiences with other brands?

[Alistair McDade]

The lessons for me I think are to be genuinely interested but don’t try to be a friend. Be aware of different peoples expectations, some want to be friendly, some want to have little or no interaction. Most people want polite helpful service which gives them what they want and leaves them with a good feeling, a good shopper experience and desire to come back for more. It is very important to try and generate word-of-mouth recommendations. This is through customer care, and generally putting the customer first. Make the experience as seamless as possible in that there are no hiccups and if there are, deal with them quickly as possible, with a smile and apology or discount, gift or assurance that all is well and will continue to be. Do what you say you are going to do – my experience is that the worst thing you can do is promise something that isn’t forthcoming, and let people down. They seldom forget or forgive if they think you are responsible. Also keep it simple, don’t treat customers as the order. Treat them as an individual but don’t try to be friends, unless of course they want to be!

[Debbie Paterson]

The overriding takeout is about creating and maintaining a healthy relationship. Show you care (check in to see customers are happy with their purchase);be there at the right time (when they need you); make them feel good about themselves (sell them a beautiful product that they love and that their decision to spend money on Kinalba was the right one); and provide additional value such as offering discounts.
I always say the key to excellent customer service is communication. This doesn’t mean over-communicating with the customer but timely, personal and relevant communication. I always strive to find the customer a solution. I have had retail customers email me asking if we still stock a specific scarf, and on realising we’ve sold through, I then email round wholesale customers until I find it for them and then pass the customer onto them to fulfil. I may have missed an extra sale there as I could have persuaded the customer to buy something similar directly from us (and with cost to retail mark-up the margin is high) but instead I gained their trust and respect, which is more valuable and long-lasting.

[JS]

Thinking about sustainability and environmentally conscious brands, what developments have caught your attention recently?

[AMcD]

I think we are seeing recyclable packaging more and more. In many ways this area has to be driven by us wherever we can. I think it’s up to us to incorporate the best specifications we can. The environmental tipping point is coming, if not there already, and we need to be ahead of that.

[DP]

We’re seeing more companies having environmental values at their core, and building businesses around it. These days it pays to be wholly transparent about your approach to sustainability, traceability, and by looking after the people who work for you. From a business point of view, it’s about selling an aspirational concept of how we wish to live.

Gift Wrapping - Information

Have your luxurious Kinalba product gift wrapped in elegant, sustainable packaging. Our gift to you is that it’s completely free of charge – as is delivery. We will handwrite your message for that personal touch. You can include this in the check out process before payment. Thank you for shopping with Kinalba x

Terms

  • All packaging is recyclable and intended to be used as many times as possible to store your product or for any other purpose.
  • Packaging includes tissue paper to protect your product and then inserted into a Kinalba branded gift envelope (tied with a tartan ribbon during the Festive Season). If you have purchased a Balvenie Throw then we use a large Kinalba box.
  • Notes are hand-written on recycled A6 card and are limited to 120 characters.
  • Where possible we will reduce the amount of packaging by placing two items in one gift envelope.
  • Our service is free of charge.

Gift Wrapping - Information

Have your luxurious Kinalba product gift wrapped in elegant, sustainable packaging. Our gift to you is that it’s completely free of charge – as is delivery. We will handwrite your message for that personal touch. You can include this in the check out process before payment. Thank you for shopping with Kinalba x

Terms

  • All packaging is recyclable and intended to be used as many times as possible to store your product or for any other purpose.
  • Packaging includes tissue paper to protect your product and then inserted into a Kinalba branded gift envelope (tied with a tartan ribbon during the Festive Season). If you have purchased a Balvenie Throw then we use a large Kinalba box.
  • Notes are hand-written on recycled A6 card and are limited to 120 characters.
  • Where possible we will reduce the amount of packaging by placing two items in one gift envelope.
  • Our service is free of charge.