A headphone company’s quest to build trust

As an aspiring musician, Jimmy Davidson’s need for music surpasses the average listener. He is continually listening to new artists and albums in order to provide himself with the inspiration he needs to write new tunes.

“I use [headphones] every day, multiple times for hours,” Davidson said. “One of the most used things in my life are headphones.”

A few months ago, when his newly purchased Skullcandy earphones only produced silence, he became frustrated and immediately contacted Skullcandy with his gripe. Davidson sent the company an email detailing his situation and dissatisfaction with the product. Skullcandy quickly responded to Davidson’s complaint, offering him online credit to purchase a new pair.

“[They responded] within 24 hours,” Davidson said. “It was way quick.”

Public relations is all about building relationships, and every single relationship counts. Regardless of the channel, the Park City-based headphone company strives to connect with its customers. Its dedication to make and maintain connections has served the company well.

“When I think of Skullcandy, that experience is in my mind,” Davidson said. “I was very impressed with Skullcandy as a company and because of that I’ve continued buying their headphones.”

Skullcandy connects with its customers through all sorts of methods, including promotions like this one. (Source: Skullcandy Twitter Page)

Skullcandy connects with its customers through all sorts of methods, including promotions like this one. (Source: Skullcandy Twitter Page)

Because of one experience, Skullcandy may have gained a customer for life. It understood the importance of maintaining trust with its customers.

“Companies are incredibly successful due, in large part, to material focus on the customer experience,” said founder of businesscareercoaching.com Chris Haroun.

At the end of 2015, Skullcandy saw a 10 percent increase in net sales from the year before. This focus on building the company’s trustworthiness and relationships with individuals is most likely a large contributor to its success.

Besides using email to help customers like Davidson, Skullcandy also embraces social media as a way to improve the customer experience and demonstrate its commitment to its patrons. The company is incredibly active on multiple platforms, posting product information, promotions and responses to customer questions.

When Twitter user Gabe Pasco, @shonen413, encountered some unplanned problems with his headphones, he took to Twitter to complain to Skullcandy.

“I wanna contact @skullcandy about my GIs to see if I can get them fixed, but I don’t want them replaced since they’re discontinued. R.I.P.,” said Pasco.

It didn’t take Skullcandy long to respond. Shortly after Pasco’s complaint, Skullcandy tweeted back “@shonen413 Hey Gabe, we’re nostalgic for the GI’s all the time. Give us a call and we’ll see what we can do for you: 1 (888) 697-5855.”

Through this process, Pasco not only found a solution to his problem, Skullcandy customers virtually witnessed the company’s dedication to its clients. Customers learned that if they ever encountered a problem with headphones or another product, they wouldn’t be left in the dark.

Skullcandy takes advantage of Twitter to answer any sort of question customers may have. (Source: Skullcandy Twitter Page)

Skullcandy takes advantage of Twitter to answer any sort of question customers may have. (Source: Skullcandy Twitter Page)

This use of social media as a way to enhance the customer experience isn’t just utilized by Skullcandy; all sorts of businesses are taking advantage of it.

“We’re all about people, and being on social media is just a natural extension of that,” said Jet Blue Manager of Customer Commitment Laurie Meachem. “It’s no different than any other part of the airline.”

People instinctively trust something or someone they can connect with. Instead of the old methods of one-way communication over TV or radio, social media and the internet has enabled customers and companies to have personal one-on-one interactions. When building relationships is what matters most, social media is a dream for PR practitioners. Skullcandy recognizes this and has seized the opportunity.

“Customer service is worth it to me to continue buying their products,” Davidson said. “I’d recommend them to a friend.”

James Collard is a public relations student from Kaysville, Utah. He recently finished an internship with the Public Affairs Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is currently working as writer on BYU’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences marketing team.  James is the type of person that enjoys travelling and exploring new places; unfortunately, time and finances don’t always allow him to do those things. In those cases, James turns to Netflix to bring him happiness.
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