&Open Aug 23, 2019
Here’s a radical idea: customers are people.
We are emotional beings; our decisions are rarely rational and old loyalties are questioned daily. Given this, transactional gestures don’t cut it in the modern world of customer service.
At their core, relationships are built on empathy. They cannot be forged or maintained by algorithms. Technology is a helpful tool, but it is no substitute for human emotional intelligence — especially in our digital era.
When it comes to gifting, particularly corporate gifting, so many companies have the wrong approach. They believe gifts are commodities first, so they create merchandise to fulfil their goals instead of considering the recipient and their values. But gifts are more than commodities: they establish relationships and represent how much you value the individual. Handled carefully, giving is a way of showing that you genuinely care. For brands in particular, gifts reinforce what they stand for and the relationships that matter to them.
At &Open, our mission is to balance the efficiency of technology with creative thinking and human warmth. It’s our goal to reinstate care in the world of corporate gifting. We think of ourselves as a technology firm that looks, feels and behaves like a design studio. Today our team supports companies like Airbnb and Turo to send thoughtful gifts around the world.
How do we do this? Here’s our three-step “secret”:
A powerful platform
Our technology delivers, tracks and automates workflows, providing a single source for reporting, invoicing and analytics so CX teams can focus on what matters: their customers. (As a bonus, it can send a gift in under two minutes.)
We design and develop gifts specifically for brands. Aside from sourcing ethical merchandise, we create digital gifts, flowers and experiences that reflect each company’s values and ethos and are useful for customers’ lives.
The hardest part of gifting is getting it there. We provide warehousing and shipping across the US, EMEA and APAC, providing direct delivery at local market rates, so no one has to track down a pesky shipping number. (In 2018, we sent 175,000 gifts to 50 countries — and we regularly keep track the number of gifts sent and their whereabouts around the world regularly, too.)
That said, what matters most is our approach to care. To us, care matters. Care is a timeless, relevant cornerstone of modern life.
That said, what matters most is our approach to care. To us, care matters. Care is a timeless, relevant cornerstone of modern life. People remember the care that they observe in daily life. It is a simple, impactful thing that we prize in light of its increasing absence. From start to finish, we infuse care into customer interactions to deliver warmth, personality and a human touch so people know they matter.