Wednesday, September 1. 2010
Back in June I ordered some wine and when it arrived discovered that my additional bottles had not been included, I immediately rang customer services, and was very disappointed to find myself talking to a lass who knew little about wine, nothing about me, little about Virgin Wines and even less about customer service, this, did not, impress me.
What did impress me was a phone call I subsequently received from a chap by the name of Ian Long, he works for Virgin Wines and he explained what had gone wrong, he didn't excuse it but it made sense, and I felt like a grown up, who was being listened to and treated with respect and concern. He arranged to replace my missing wine and offered a three bottle case of champagne as an apology, that impressed me, then he took the opportunity to offer me membership of their wine bank, where I give them money every month, they put it against my future purchases and I get a (relatively), good rate of return on my modest monthly investment, I never go for things like that, but he sold it to me, so that impressed me.
He rang a month or so ago to make sure I was enjoying the sevice and the wines, he rang again last week to tell me about an offer on some South African wine, I was canny, although I was quite impressed that he'd identified the types of wine I bought, and the prices I like to pay and taken the trouble to call me and to offer a discount price. I said “thank you”, but I'd have a look on the website and make a decision.
It was a couple of quid more on the website, how odd, I emailed him, he rang me back, that impressed me, he explained that it was a special deal for his client list, I felt a bit special, so that was clever, I asked for a case, he said “we can do cases of sixteen now”, I ordered a case of sixteen, that surprised me, and impressed me. He offered to include the stuff I had already got in my shopping basket but hadn’t got around to purchasing just yet, “to take advantage of free delivery”, that impressed me, I said “yes”, that surprised me.
Here's the thing, this account manager turned a grumpy customer into a fan, they could easily have lost me as a customer, but because of some really good contact nurturing, I've bought more wine than I would have done, I've committed to an ongoing relationship with financial advantage to them and to me, I've now taken the time to sit down and write this piece, I'm using the story as a case study to explain aspects of contact nurturing to clients, and now I'm telling you. The message is not about the first "sorry we screwed up" phone call, It’s about the ongoing, well-managed and valuable (to us both) dialogue.
Impressive, Ian Long, Virgin Wines, we salute you!
"We don’t walk people to the elevator, we walk them to the street."
David Ogilvy "on account management"