When customers have great experiences with businesses something magical happens: They tell other people. In this way, customers are a little bit like money in that it usually takes some to make some more.
For a couple years now, and perhaps longer, my sister and brother-in-law have purchased a subscription to the Cellars Wine Club as a Christmas gift for me. Each month the company ships out two bottles of wine – with an accompanying one page summary of each wine describing the origins and making of the wine being shipped.
One might argue the company is selling wine education, rather than wine. For pretend connoisseurs like me, that can hardly tell the difference between tannin and body, those descriptions sure make me feel a lot smarter.
Three times since having the subscription, I’ve changed addresses – and by extension the address of the wine shipment. Twice I’ve reached out to the company by email and asked them to update my shipping address – and twice they’ve made the change with no problem.
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The last time…well I meant to contact the company and ask them to update the address, but amid the chaos of life, it simply slipped. And that’s when it happened: The company reached out to me and mentioned UPS had returned the last delivery – was it a mistake by the driver or did they need to update the address on file?
Of course, I responded immediately and gave them a new address and tried my luck with one additional request. I prefer red to white and the monthly subscriptions come with one red and one white – any chance they could make those two reds? Here was the response:
“Hi Frank, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I will update the address and send a couple extra wines this month to make up for the missed ones. Also I have switched your club to 2 red wines. Cheers! Ted”
No mistake about it – that’s a big deal. It’s downright amazing for a company to proactively reach out to a customer by email and send a personal note to solve a problem. It just doesn’t happen anymore.
Most companies today cut staff, offshore the call center and implement automated phone mazes that literally steal time from customers. And good luck getting an email returned. When you do hear back from a company, it’s usually to sell you more stuff or somehow collect more data.
I’ve been thrilled with the experience I’ve had with Cellars Wine Club. If you know a wine lover and are looking for a great gift to give this holiday season, I couldn’t recommend them more highly. Good customer service is good marketing.
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Photo credit: Flickr, Prayitno, Wine Selection (CC By 2.0)