I really like Lands’ End. I have for years. I haven’t sampled everything in their catalog, but I can speak authoritatively on their dress shirts and trousers, as well as some of their more business casual kind of stuff. It’s excellent quality for a really fair price. As long as you know your size, you can’t go wrong. Virtually all of the dress shirts and trousers that I own are from Lands’ End. I usually shop in the overstocks section of their website (updated twice weekly!), but I like browsing their hardcopy catalogs too.
So the other day I was reading through one of their newer catalogs and came across something that made me laugh out loud. Probably didn’t make Lands’ End laugh, though. I wrote them a note, just to give ’em a heads up on what I saw. Here’s what I wrote:
The following message concerning Catalog Concerns was received
from Brendon Connelly <brendon.connelly@g….com>.
Just a quick heads-up on a misspelling in your “Men’s Fall Preview 2005” catalog. Page 34, 4th column, 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence. Reads “shits” instead of “shirts.”
Made me laugh, but it probably makes you groan.
I don’t know whether you use Mac or Windows for copywriting,but on either platform there are great utilities for making sure that never happens again. Essentially, with these tools, when you write “shits” the word will automagically change to “shirts.”
On Windows you’ll want either ActiveWords (activewords.com) or AutoHotKey (autohotkey.com). ActiveWords is more user-friendly, but AutoHotKey is free.
On Mac, you’ll want Textpander (http://www.petermaurer.de/nasi.php?section=textpander). It’s free
By the way, I love Lands’ End. I’m an endless evangelist for your dress shirts… Keep on keepin’ on!
Pretty embarrassing for them, I’m sure, but it still made me laugh. For a major retailer that specializes, at least to some degree, in making and selling nice shirts, misspelling the word “shirts” is a big no-no. To be honest, I just figured my message went into the corporate black hole, never to be seen again. I was surprised and pleased when I received this prompt response:
Dear Mr. Connelly,
Thank you for your sharp eye seeing the misspelling in our Men’s Fall Preview. I’m sure it’s times like this proofreaders wish they were doing something else.
I’m glad to hear you weren’t offended by the regrettable error. I also know our proofers will appreciate seeing your note not only for its tone, but also for your suggested tools. More things should be “automagically” done – how interesting that would be!
Thanks for taking the time from your busy day to send us a note.
Sheri Breuer, Coordinator
Lands’ End Customer Communications
The Lands’ End website lists some of the distinctive qualities of Lands’ End customer service. Some excerpts:
- The company gets 40,000-50,000 calls on a typical day. During the Christmas season, it takes more than 1,100 phone lines to handle over 100,000 calls a day. In one year, Lands’ End answers the phone more than 15 million times.
- We also received 231,000 e-mails during the past year. Each e-mail receives a personal response.
- Our phone representatives receive 70-80 hours of product, customer service and computer training when hired, and 24 hours each year thereafter.
Seems to me that they did what they said they’d do. Good work, Lands’ End!