This open letter blog post is a bit different from what you’re probably used to, but I’m excited for what we’re sharing with you today!
You may have noticed that I recorded a video to go along with this blog post and posted it above.
The reason for this is that what I’m sharing with you is possibly the most important post we’ve ever done.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the video and then read on for more information.
After seeing the title of the blog post, you might be asking yourself, “what is an open letter?”
Allow me to explain.
An open letter is an important notice that gets published to the general public, but is intended for a specific group of people. (source)
An important notice that gets published to the general public, but is intended for a specific group of people.
Open letters can cover a wide range of topics and are used for many different purposes. Let’s put that into the context of what I’m sharing with you today.
Our open letter today is simply an invitation to you and to all of our customers to provide us with more critical feedback on how we can make our products and services better for you.
To enable you to do that, I have 2 specific suggestions for you:
Let's take a deeper look.
First, I’d like to outline a problem that we’ve run into lately.
For the most part, all we are hearing from our customers are great, positive things about the products & services we’ve provided.
On an almost daily basis, we hear things from our customers such as:
I really appreciate that the guys at Bear Country Bees responded to my emails in a timely manner and with a personal touch. Their service quality is unmatched by any other beekeeping company. I love this company and the service they provide!
What a great group of people! I needed to get some frames for some incoming nucs so I called at lunch time to make the order and told Bryce what I was looking for. He called me back about 5 minutes later and said they would have them ready for pick by the time I came to get them after work. Bret greeted me and my family and boy is he a first class guy! He is very willing to share his knowledge and I felt like I knew him for years. I will definitely be using Bear Country Bees in the future for beekeeping products!
I’ve been thrilled with the service I’ve gotten from Bear Country Bees. They were very helpful every step of the way from the first phone call to getting my order to me. Even though I’m located pretty close to them and didn’t mind driving to get my (local pickup) order, I was impressed at how willing they were to deliver my products so I didn't have to go out of my way. It saved me a lot of time and it was really appreciated!
At the end of every order we fulfill, we even ask our customers to give us something we can work on to improve our service level.
However, despite taking this extra step, we are still consistently getting feedback like this response from a recent customer:
"Don't change anything about your service!"
Now, don’t get me wrong. We LOVE hearing that our customers are happy and that we’ve somehow made a difference for them. In fact, nothing makes us happier!
However, if this is all we hear, we’ll never be able to truly make things better and more valuable for you.
In essence, we aren’t getting enough critical feedback. We need and want it from you!
What we need is to create a better Customer Feedback Loop and we invite you to join in the loop with us.
You may never have heard of a customer feedback loop before and that’s ok. I’ll briefly explain what this is.
A customer feedback loop is a system where a company (such as Bear Country Bees) creates a system for gathering information, feedback, and input from you (our customer) in order to better understand your needs as a customer.
We take those details and use them to determine how we’ll best approach meeting those needs.
In a (simple) graph form, the cycle looks something like this:
At Bear Country Bees, we want to provide you with the best honey bee products, services, information, and support available anywhere in the world.
However, the fact of the matter is that we can’t make our products & services better if we don’t hear whether or not things are working for you.
On an even bigger scale, we can’t help make the honey bee & beekeeping industry better without the type of honest feedback we’re asking you to give us.
As you can see, you are a critical part of this cycle.
Without you, the cycle breaks. Without your input, requests, and other feedback, we can’t deliver the solutions you’re hoping for.
This is why the Customer Feedback Loop is so important to us.
All of this in mind, the main purpose of our open letter today is to extend 2 specific invitations to you.
As I’ve mentioned, we want to hear more from you. We want more feedback and input from you so that our Customer Feedback Loop is successful and we can deliver more value to you.
The first bit of good news is that your feedback and requests can come in many forms including:
Really, anything you want to share with us is welcome. Don’t be shy!
The second bit of good news is that we’ve made it super easy for you to leave us the feedback we’re asking for.
The first and best system we have is our commenting system on the Bear Country Bees website. With this system, you can quickly and easily leave a comment with your thoughts.
The comments are located at the bottom of all posts on our blog and several other places around our website. This is the best go-to place for you to give us your input.
Note: either I or one of my team members will personally respond to all comments you leave us in the comments system (usually within 48 hours). We don’t outsource this responsibility because we think it’s really important to interact with you.
Your comment doesn’t even have to be related to the content of the post. We will still respond to it!
BONUS: there’s also a gamification system built into the comments system that allows you to earn different badges for being a top commenter 🙂
In addition to the comments system, here are 3 other easy ways you can share your ideas with us:
We actively monitor all of these channels and will get back to you as soon as we can with an answer if you share something with us.
If you never know about a new resource that we’ve released, how are you ever going to gain the benefits?
This is where the Bear Country Bees newsletter comes into play.
Our newsletter is a one-of-a-kind resource that you won’t find anywhere else in the industry.
When you access our newsletter, you’re not signing up for the traditional, advertisement-laden email you get once a month from the local hardware store (or most honey bee companies for that matter).
Instead, you’ll get a simple email that explains what we’re sharing with you and a link to our most recent resources (blog posts, courses, etc.) that we’ve released on our website.
The reason we don’t fill our newsletters with advertisements is that we’d rather focus our efforts on creating highly relevant, actionable, and principle-based honey bee and beekeeping-related content for you.
If you want to have access to this kind of content along with all sorts of honey bee and beekeeping bonuses, then our newsletter is the best resource you can have at your disposal.
Once you sign up, keep your eyes open for our next announcement that will be delivered to your inbox!
These 2 requests I’m making today are not made lightly. If we didn’t honestly believe that you would receive incredible value from them, I wouldn’t even bother with presenting them to you in this open letter.
But the fact is, we do think they are important enough to warrant this kind of announcement which is why we created this post for you.
I had a great time creating this first Open Letter and I hope you enjoyed reading and/or watching it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on our first Open Letter. Did you find it helpful? Unhelpful? What questions do you have for us? What ideas do you have that could make the beekeeping industry better? What products would you like to see developed? What content, courses, etc. can we create to better help you?
If you haven’t already engaged with us or haven’t signed up for the Bear Country Bees newsletter, what is it that is keeping you from doing so? What else can we do to make these blog posts more valuable for you?
Please leave us a comment below to share your thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say!
Bryce is the CEO/CMO of Bear Country Bees and is in charge of marketing, strategy, and innovation. When he isn't obsessing over creating the best possible experience for backyard beekeepers, he loves reading Star Wars, visiting new places, and spending time with his family. He also sells weather and astronomy equipment and loves spending his spare time observing clouds, lightning, and storms.
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