Okay, so maybe this site has been slightly derailed by my love and pursuit of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips…but this story is deserving of a 3rd chapter. As my constant readers know I have a love for Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips but (alas) I have not been able to find them in Wichita since moving here almost 5 years ago. I did what I always do and took up my pen. I wrote to my grocer, my convenience store, Walmart, Target, various retailers, and of course…Frito Lay. While I was so happy to have my local grocer, Dillon’s, reply to me (read here)…there was no greater feeling than receiving the enclosed letter from Leryn Stephenson of Frito Lay which fantastically says, “I understand.” It is rare to get a brand to respond so rapidly let alone so appropriately. My letter to Lay’s was intentionally over-the-top comedic in hopes of getting someone’s attention. It appears to have worked and the response is my favorite letter I have ever received from a brand along with two delicious bags of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips.
When I came home from work last week to find a large box waiting for me care of Frito Lay, I knew exactly what it was: Chips! What I wasn’t expecting was the letter so clearly not a form response but an actual person taking the time to read my letter, respond honestly and acurately to it, quote from it, and shoot my own comedy right back at me. Leryn…you got it. This is what customer service is all about! It isn’t about online live chat sessions, customer complaint telephone lines, or Twitter help accounts…its about human connection; the ability to make a personal connection to a brand.
Here is Leryn Stephenson’s response letter to mine (Note: Personal information has been removed):
Wow…just…wow. I had hoped to get a response but to get one as hilariously awesome as this…wow. As much as I loved Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips before…I love them even more now because of this. This not only reinvigorates my love of these chips but also makes me fall in love with the brand and want to support them more because of the people they have working for them. This is Customer Service, Branding, and Marketing 101. If only more companies had people like Leryn working for them. If only more companies encouraged their people to send responses like this. Wow…just…wow.
With that said I am adding this post to the product review section of the site and giving Lay’s & PepsiCo two thumbs up, five stars, and my humble thanks. When I write to all of you, my constant readers and those joining the discussion now, it is always my hope to simply be heard and hopefully bring a moment of laughter or insight to your day. It was wonderful to be heard by Lay’s and thank you for the gracious gift of 2 bags to get me through til I find a long-term solution. Tonight I’ll be snacking ferociously from the light blue bag with my boys, who have tasted this nectar of the Gods and now share in my love of tangy alkali fried potatoes, and we’ll be thinking of you Leryn Stephenson…and the simple gesture you made that brought some laughter and happiness to my family. I hope my letter and this story brought laughter to your day as well.
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