Sunday, March 30, 2008

Breaking News – Outstanding Customer Service from CD Baby

I am a passionate believer in the principle of “catching people doing something right and praising them for that positive behavior.” I just received the very pleasant surprise of outstanding customer service as a result of the mundane action of buying a music CD on-line, and I need to make you aware of that experience and share the good news.

Regular readers of The White Rhino Report are aware that early in 2008, I discovered the remarkable music and artistry of Jake Armerding. I own (and am wearing out) his second and third album, but I did not yet own his first album, "Caged Bird." So, I followed the link on his website ( to CD Baby ( I dutifully filled in all the requisite information, as I have done so many times in making on-line purchases, and then moved on with my daily activities. I did not expect to think about the transaction again until the CD arrived in the mail in a few days.

A few moments after completing the transaction, I received an e-mail with a subject line that said: “CD Baby Loves Al”

The content of that e-mail was as follows:

Al -

Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

This is just a happy automated email to let you know a real person
will email you as soon as your package is sent, and you will also
receive a paper receipt with your order in the mail.

Please save this email in case you have any questions about your

** NOTE: if any of the info below looks wrong, please hit REPLY now
to let us know!

Nothing earth-shattering here, but it felt very warm and professional. A few minutes ago I received the promised follow-up e-mail. Here it is. I hope it makes you smile as much as it did me.

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved
'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Sunday, March 30th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as
'Customer of the Year.' We're all
exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


What a delightful way to turn an impersonal and routine transaction into an opportunity to build a long term relationship between customer and vendor. I felt the need to e-mail the company President, Derek Sivers:


I discovered CD Baby through Jake Armerding's website. I was not familiar with you. Your whimsical e-mail made me smile, and it will make me remember CD Baby for future purchases. Well done! You gave me a wonderful customer experience and made a lasting first impression. Someone has been reading Seth Godin's
"Purple Cow" and "Free Prize Inside." I am about to mention you in my Blog:

Al Chase

Such outstanding customer service should be rewarded, so if you need to buy some CD’s, I encourage you to check out (I do not get a cut from any business that I mention in this Blog. I share the information merely as “one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread”!) Better yet, go on Jake Armerding’s website, and order one or more of his albums through CD Baby – and wait patiently for the gold-lined box to arrive in the private jet!




Brian said...

For years I have been a devoted user of CD Baby. It is a fantastic resource and I am elated to see that you have discovered it as well. Browsing their website has allowed me to discover many wonderful new artists to whom opportunity for exposure is very limited. One tool that I have found particularly useful is the "Sounds Like" link on the home page. Pick a famous artist that you enjoy (ie: Radiohead) and CDBaby will make recommendations of independent artists that exhibit a similar style. Awesome.

Mark said...

I also have purchased from CD Baby and have been very pleased.