L.L Bean was founded by Leon Lenwood Bean an avid hunter and fisherman in 1912. He believed that spending time outdoors was fundamental to happiness in life. L.L Bean quickly established itself as a trusted source for reliable outdoor equipment and expert advice. The company set a high standard for customer service in 1912 and this philosophy of service is a fundamental belief that resonates through the company today. In 2012, L.L Bean was recognized as one of only 50 companies to receive the J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions Award.
L.L Bean’s personal charisma based on down-home honesty, a true love for the outdoors and a genuine enthusiasm for people, inspired all who worked for him and attracted a fanatic loyalty among his customers. The values that the company’s founder, L.L. Bean, was raised to believe in were simple and deeply ingrained. Nature is something to be revered. Family ties are a priority. Being neighborly is a matter of course. And “do unto others” is not just a saying but a way of life. When L.L. launched his company, he believed so strongly in the Golden Rule that he made it the foundation of his business.
L.L Bean’s Golden Rule “Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.” He backed that up with a strong guarantee. “Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory”. L.L.Bean values of honesty, quality, dependability and a guarantee of 100% satisfaction are lived by the company today. The unlimited guarantee says to customer “we trust you”. What a powerful way to earn the trust of your customers.
L.L Bean had a passion for serving customers. His philosophy is summed up by the following statements:
- A customer is the most important person ever in this company—in person or by mail.
- A customer is not dependent on us, we are dependent on them.
- A customer is not an interruption of our work, they are the purpose of it.
- We are not doing a favor by serving them, they are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
- A customer is not someone to argue or match wits with. Nobody ever won an argument with a customer.
- A customer is a person who brings us their wants. It is our job to handle them profitably to them, and to ourselves.
L.L Bean also believed that the company had a broader purpose beyond just making money. It was about really trying to improve people’s lives. He felt strongly that as a values-based company, L.L.Bean should have as its purpose to add value to everyone who had a vested interest in the company. L.L. Bean’s success depends on how well the company meets the objectives of its stakeholders. He described L.L.Bean’s stakeholders as customers, employees, stockholders, vendors, communities and the natural environment. Today the L.L. Bean Company is a leader in environmental sustainability, community involvement and customer experience
Have you ever shopped at L.L. Bean?