Optimus Prime Vs Clarks Shoes – social customer service can be fun

Just under a couple of weeks ago I took my son Sam to Clarks to get his annual check up and new school shoes. As it was a Sunday just before the summer holidays, the shop was packed and, on top of that, it turned out he needed 3 different pairs of shoes. All went well – we had a friendly (patient) and helpful shop assistant – and we soon left the shop with all the footwear needed for the coming term. But what has this got to do with social customer service and, more importantly, Transformers?

Well, the next morning young Sam was very excited to be wearing his new trainers to his summer school club to show his new friends. Unfortunately, when he open the box it turned out the shop had given us two right-footed shoes by accident. Cue tears (from child) and grumpiness (from Dad). To ensure household harmony I agreed to pop to the shoe shop at lunchtime and return the offending shoe for one more suitable for a left foot.

I also posted a picture of the trainers on Facebook to see what comedy I could elicit from my friends – as I did this I also decided to post the picture on the Clarks Facebook page; just to see if I would get and comments from them.

The offending shoes…

As well as that, for a little experiment I asked them if they would send young Sam a hand drawn picture of his favourite Transformer, Optimus Prime, by way of apology. Again much hilarity ensued (mainly directed at me, it has to be said) and after a little while, the following message appeared from Clarks…


A result! A quick PM to sort out the details and then it was a question of waiting for the postman… a few days later an envelope arrived…

First off was a rather excellent, genuinely hand-drawn picture of Optimus Prime by their team member Sophie, followed by an also rather excellent letter to Sam, FROM Optimus Prime on behalf of Clarks apologising for the error…

Cue one happy boy and a very happy ending…

So, what’s the point of this? Well, we had a bit of a bad experience from a shoe purchase. It wasn’t the end of the world but it did make my son upset, caused me a minor inconvenience and put a black mark over Clarks’ brand in the Hinder household. Rather than a rant I thought it would be interesting to have a bit of fun with my “complaint” and see how Clarks would respond.

The outcome was a very happy child and a great brand experience for my wife and I. On top of that, from a social perspective, Clarks did a great job of responding to my request. We’ve shared the pictures back on their Facebook timeline and they’ve received a fair-few likes, helping to cement their position as providers of excellent customer service. In the end, what could’ve been a tedious complaint turned into a light-hearted, fun and positive experience for everyone involved and a major win for Clarks’ customer service.

  • Antron Argaiv

    I’ve worn Clark’s since I was his age. Good quality, long lasting and they fit my wide feet. Love em!

  • JaredTheGeek

    I read that letter in Optimus Prime’s (Peter Cullen) voice.

  • ZeroCorpse

    Who didn’t? I don’t think you can help doing it.

    Also, bonus points for the picture being old school Optimus Prime and not the Michael Bay version.

  • Gamblor

    I read it in Frodo Baggins “Dear Sam” and all

  • Keith Martin

    Great customer service on Clarks end +1