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How FilterEasy Turned a Mistake into a Chance for Fandom

// Zack Mansfield - VP, Early Stage + Pre-VC

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June 11, 2014
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A few months ago, I met the FilterEasy guys at a conference and really loved what they were doing and how they were doing it. The idea is simple—a subscription service for residential HVAC filters. You sign up for the size and type of filters that you have in your house and a recurring schedule (every month, three months, etc). Then they just show up. Filter. Easy.

While the service is simple enough, I loved it because it solves a pain point for me. I’m constantly forgetting when I last changed my filters. If I do remember, it takes me a week or two to go by a home improvement store to pick up more. Getting on a regular schedule–set it and forget it–makes a ton of sense. And the two founders, Thad and Kevin, are young, hungry and relentless (in a good way) at closing the sale.

I signed up for the service but had just recently changed my filters. So, I scheduled to receive my first batch three months later. Fast forward to last week when a box showed up on my front porch.

Unfortunately, when I opened the box, only one of the filters was the right size. I figured it was user error on my part, but when I logged into my account, I saw that I indeed had entered the right sizes. There must have been a mistake in the fulfillment process.

This was a little frustrating, of course. First experience with a new service, and the very simple task of putting two air filters into a box had not gone as planned. It’s certainly not the first impression Thad and Kevin would have wanted. But what happened next changed everything.



I went on their website and saw a live chat option. I opened a chat and within two minutes my issue was resolved. An agent named Heather promised to refund me for the filter that was sent erroneously and sent the correct size free of charge. She was smart, efficient and apologetic. A day later, I received a personal follow up email from Heather. Within the week, the correct filter was delivered.

For E-commerce businesses (and especially subscription E-commerce), customer lifetime value is paramount. In a case like this, it would have been easy for me to lose confidence and cancel after one month. Yet, the ease of solving my issue and the commitment to not only send a new one, but offer a credit, has turned a potentially damaging situation into a positive one. The FilterEasy team was able to take a potential “churn” moment and turn me into a raving fan.

The most interesting part is that these guys are just getting off the ground and building the scale in their workforce. I’m not even sure Heather is a full time employee - she may be, but I couldn’t find anything online to suggest so. They’ve found a way to implement technology through a chat app run by Olark to provide the service level of a large company while still keeping costs lean and focusing on building the business.

Keep up the good work FilterEasy. Love what you’re doing and the commitment to getting it right even if it doesn’t go right the first time.

Disclosure: I’ve met the team and love what they’re doing, but they are not a client, so no conflicts in giving this rousing endorsement.

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