Small business success stories: Pen Boutique
When your top priority is to provide exemplary customer service at every level with every purchase, having a shipment arrive a month late is simply not acceptable. So how did a high-end distributor manage international and U.S. shipping issues? They turned to FedEx for a customized solution.
Pen Boutique Limited was established in 2004, and today its 12 employees distribute fine writing instruments — including Cartier, Montblanc, Waterman and Cross pens — along with a range of executive leather goods and desk accessories. Typically, their customers are collectors or executives buying corporate gifts. Currently, Pen Boutique has both a U.S. and international customer base.
"We typically ship between 100 and 150 shipments a day," says Raj Menon of Pen Boutique. Approximately 45 to 50 of those shipments are international. In the beginning, we were primarily using another carrier for international shipments, but we had issues with their service. Our shipments were getting lost along the way, the tracking was terrible and, in some instances, our product took a month to reach our customers. Naturally, our customers were unhappy — they believed we were holding up the order for some reason. And that’s when we turned to FedEx."
A FedEx account executive arranged for a customized solution for Pen Boutique, and Raj agreed to work with FedEx on a trial basis. Ultimately, FedEx was able to match the shipping competitor’s rates on the company’s core products, which weigh approximately 1 to 2 lbs. Raj explains, "The FedEx solution really helped Pen Boutique, especially concerning our shipments to Canada, where we have an excellent customer base. Our shipments go next-day, and claim processing is really easy."
When Pen Boutique ships within the U.S., Raj uses FedEx Express® and FedEx Ground® services. He also takes advantage of FedEx® Billing Online, FedEx InSight®, fedex.com shipment-status tracking, and FedEx® Claims Online.
Raj has nothing but good things to say about his FedEx account executive. "We have a very good relationship. He’s on top of everything. The really good thing about him is that he tells us how we can get extra discounts and which shipments make better cost-sense."
When it comes to shipping and customer service, Raj has some final words of advice for other small-business owners: "Be upfront with your customers and they’ll stick with you." For more information on Pen Boutique, go to www.penboutique.com.