Customer Service – How Much is Enough (or Too Much or Not Enough)?


bad-customer-service

 

When I was much younger than I am now, Nordstrom opened their first store in our area. My oldest brother went down and purchased a suit from them, and remained a happy customer for a long time. Flash forward a few years later – he’d  gained some weight and the suit did not fit him anymore, so he brought it back to Nordstrom – and received a full refund!

This was clearly ingrained in my head as the ‘ultimate’ for customer service. Keep the customer happy – even if it really did not make any sense to. (and yes, I do not believe they should have given him a refund for his weight gain!!!!). Back in that day, Nordstrom set the bar for customer service and, as far as I know, still retains a high level of it.

That said, is it really fair to ‘assume’ a business will go so far out of their way to ‘keep a customer’? This especially pertains to the wine industry, where a ‘subjective product’ may either be ‘damaged’, ‘faulty’, or simply not live up to a customer’s expectations of it.

In many cases, a winery should stand by their products and ‘make things right’. If a product is damaged during shipping, the winery should make right and either refund the money or send along a replacement product. In most cases, the winery will file a claim and recoup their costs as well.

Now let’s say a product is ‘simply faulty’. What in the heck could ‘faulty’ mean in our industry? Could it be excessive amounts of solids or grit, as a famous Spanish winery has experienced in one of their wines and just issued a recall notice for? Could it be that the wine is infected with brettanomyces, a spoilage yeast that causes a wine to smell like a ‘barnyard’ or like ‘band aid’? Could it be that ‘it was just off’, not living up to the expectation of the consumer? Could it be that the ‘cork was bad’ – and I’ve already talked about the plethora of things this might entail from a consumer standpoint.

I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this issue. I don’t think there’s an absolute right or wrong answer here – to me, it depends (my favorite answer to almost any wine-related question!!!).

Join in and voice your opinions please . . .

Cheers!

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2 comments on “Customer Service – How Much is Enough (or Too Much or Not Enough)?

  1. Matt Mauldin says:

    Well timed- I read the Swan thread on WB. I think the answer is to do what it takes ‘within reason’. In the thread yesterday it sounds like that issue of the shipping on the replacement of the corked bottle would have been much more easily worked out had their not been already been some bad water under the bridge regarding the original shipment. It takes two to make a situation right, and it’s a lot easier for a winery or any business to come up with an effective solution to an customer issue when the customer does the right things on their end.

  2. David B. says:

    I’m all in favor of good customer service, but social media has turned service into a minefield. Certainly those that use the web to build their brand need to be extra vigilant (wine boards giveth and wine boards taketh away), but it seems that a small group of consumers presume small wineries can just jump on their issue at the drop of a hat.

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