Cheap talk is best value service

Managing a rapidly growing company gives me little time to go shopping for the vitamins that are  part of my health regime (which includes of course a glass of red wine a night with dinner). An advertisement for caught my attention and being a keen online shopper I took up their introductory offer. 500+kr later I looked forward to delivery within the advertised 5 days.

3weeks later and not a word from the company (email, telephone) I am still waiting. A quick search revealed that there are a lot of other angry, ripped off customers of out there and despite my efforts to contact the company I am 500kr poorer for the experience.

Customer service is always top of our mind in our e-commerce wine company. Every company has had its delivery problems but we have learned that the problem matters less than how and how fast the company responds to it.  Shopping online is convenient but impersonal and a fancy website can not make up for real people’s voices. Emails can be misinterpreted and are rarely successful at solving problems. Emails impart information, they can not communicate or build trust.

Australian Wine Club had 7 day a week call centre (0200 33 88 88 ) from our first day of direct selling and we have always preferred to call a customer rather than email, where possible. As we have grown so fast (January has been our best month ever) we have not had the resources to handle every customer contact as good as we wanted. If there is no telephone number on a website I am not going to buy from them in the future. I recently bought a camera from Scandinavian Photo and their service (online and in their Stockholm store) was first rate.

Talk is cheap but worth a lot so now we have trained a team of wine consultants who will give advice on what wine to order on the telephone and take orders directly. To avoid long waiting times we have introduced an SMS service where customers can SMS to 72500 wine (in the text field, along with their name) and we will call back as quickly as possible. After the first call the customer will get the phone number of their own personal wine consultant that they can call to get wine advice and to order.

When things go wrong, as theysometimes do, we now have Caroline, a wonderful new customer service whiz whose friendly voice will be heard more than her emails. I used to answer customer service emails myself but now I just read them all and fortunately we have 99 happy customers for every 1 not. If you are the 1 unhappy customer, you will soon be hearing from Caroline!

If you are following our saga with Posten and KF, there is nothing to report. KF’s media comments are “no comment” and Posten has decided not to return our emails. That is good service! I await their call….

Cheers to good service (I got my vitamins from the bricks and mortar store)


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