What Armstrong Garden Centers did right with feedback

Recently, I had a really great experience at Armstrong Garden Centers where they went out of their way to help me tend to a dying houseplant.

I used to shop at Home Depot for plants, as it was closer to my home. But, after having several failed attempts at asking for help, including one where an employee told me that she “had no clue” about where something was located in the store, then quickly walked away from me, I ditched the depot and found a new place to shop.

I subscribe to the Armstrong Garden Centers mailing list (it always has fun trips, tricks and free classes to take) and a few days prior to my most recent visit, read a brief piece about their request for positive feedback to use for a training event.

I read the newsletter, then dropped it in my email trash like I do with any other message that I have read and am done with.

Here’s the article from the newsletter about the feedback:

After my most recent experience, however, I became an email trash digger.

My experience was one that educated and enlightened me about plants. I don’t have a green thumb, I over/under water and clearly just don’t get it. I always think I’m doing alright, but it doesn’t always show up that way in my growing, er wilting, plants.

I dug through my email trash and pulled up their newsletter. I thought to myself, “Hmm do they actually read this? Would they actually say anything if I were to reply with positive feedback? And, will it actually be shared at their training? Oooo maybe I’ll win the gift card!

So, I made a quick video showcasing my positive experience and lack of plant knowledge, then sent it to the email in their article.

Here’s the video I made:

Chompers making a cameo in the background.

A week later, I received this email from Chris Pomar, Social Media Coordinator & Digital Media Specialist for Armstrong Garden Centers:

Of course, this could be a canned reply, because it didn’t really mention anything about my personal video, but it was written with such kindness and thoughtfulness that I had to share. It’s rare to share positive feedback with companies and actually get an email back.

And, there is something really cool knowing that they read positive customer feedback at their training events.

Ultimately, it made me want to really dive into positive (and negative) feedback even more in 2020, not only sharing with our team, but sharing with our customers, and potential customers. At the end of the day, someone took the time to write out their thoughts and experience – it might as well be treated as a sparkling gem!

What’s one way you’ll do feedback differently this year with your company? Share with me in the comments!

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Customer Experience Manager for FruitStand.com. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's also a self-care coach for customer service agents and leaders at JennyDempsey.com. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. Hanson fan for life.

One comment

  • Your intention around positive feedback is a terrific one. I’ve been working on the same thing–giving more companies and individual service providers for creating a good experience.

    Happy New Year!

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