Kilwin's in CharlotteEvery summer we spend a couple of weeks on a beach near St. Augustine, Florida. And every summer our youngest daughter's birthday falls during vacation. Cozette, who turned 6 this year, is a fairly easy child to please (unless you count her growing penchant for apparel, in which case I can only guess that I'm screwed in a few years). We spent her day playing in the surf, and went out to dinner that night. Easy. The only thing she really wanted was to get a bit of fudge from Kilwin's. It was 8:55 when we left the restaurant, and the clock struck 9:00 precisely when we arrived at Kilwin's. Just as the manager bolted the front door. I looked in the store and there was a line 12 deep waiting to be served. Yes, they were hopping, but the manager was adamant about the store being closed by pointing to his watch (it was literally 9:00 p.m.) I explained that my daughter (who was holding my hand) only wanted a little piece of fudge and that we would be no trouble. The manager didn't budge. 

Granted, the guy was probably all of 25 and likely had his eye on a date after work, but that didn't stop me from sending out a Tweet about our experience. I dropped a #fail  on them for breaking the heart of a little girl. Within an hour, I received a Tweet from @KilwinsCLT (George Click) who apologized for the problem with Kilwin's St. Augustine, and offered to remedy the situation when we got back to Charlotte. 

Cozette sampling some fudge before the big decision.

It took a few months, but we finally ventured out to Ballantyne to visit Kilwin's last weekend. We were met with smiles from Hunter and Chelsea who told us that Cozette was allowed to pick out any slice of fudge in the store – compliments of Kilwin's – and 10% off anything else in the store to boot. Cozette was thrilled. It took a good 10 minutes for her to pick out fudge (sampling here in the picture), and we actually got off light with our 'other purchases' considering how delicious everything is there. 

I just wanted to share this story – as yet another example of how Social Media is helping make the world a better place. Putting customers back in control – where we belong. Too many brands today have forgotten this golden rule. Not George Click though.  

Jim is a father, husband, copywriter and founder of smashcommunications. You can find him on Twitter @smashadv


For the record, Cozette got over the incident in St. Augustine on her birthday pretty quick (like I said, she's easy to please). I just thought that the way this customer service problem was handled was worthy of mention. I highly encourage anyone who has similar experiences with brands (for good and bad) mention it on Twitter. This is our medium. We're advocates of one another here.

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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.