Even after being in it for the better part of 30 years, the Marketing world still has many surprises for me because it is forever evolving and morphing. With the massive swing to web buying, large surface stores are shifting their millions of marketing dollars away from their brick and mortar operations and into cyber space where their customers are spending an increasing amount of their hard earned cash. But with all the convenience, flexibility, and speed that comes with cyber shopping, consumers are sacrificing the “intimacy” of buying…in other words, the personal touch of real and “touchy” customer service. Because of this phenomenon, many consumer behaviour experts have outlines an interesting opportunity for companies that are still able to offer (and surprise) their target customers with the soothing “personal touch”. Very simply, they point out that because consumers are “starved” and nostalgic for this “touchy” attention and personal customer service, a rapidly increasing number of consumers value this aspect beyond anything else when making a purchasing decision.
Kinda feels like “back to the future” doesn’t it? The other day, I called a large telecom company and almost fell off my chair when a live voice answered my call! (Then, I realized I had dialed the wrong number…)
Running a company like Wine Awakenings has little to do with wine. Wine Awakenings is actually the quintessential marketing company, complete with its own eco system of communicating value in a niche market, anticipating market insights, viral connecting with customers, and strong brand building via social media. Our company is a virtual “pool” of ephemeral marketing thrusts (experiential, experimental, but definitely always existential) …all mystifyingly held together by an ever-evolving master plan. Our team is a bunch of marketing junkies, not unlike a cult, whose leader is a master of SEO (Sales Enablement Optimization).
So, when we get complimented from our B2B or B2C customers, we are flattered, genuinely grateful, and borderline “giggly”. So imagine our reaction when we received a “barrage” of customer accolades for our “personal” assistance and service this past Holiday Season. Although most of our regular B2B ecommerce business is done via PayPal without human intervention at the ordering stage, we find ourselves personally involved during the busy Holiday season because of dramatically increased order activity, tighter deadlines, special requests, and system glitches. We love doing it and we ABSOLUTELY love getting this kind of feedback…you will soon see them all on our website but here are just a few recent examples that (almost) made us blush:
I received the aroma kits recently and everything arrived in great shape. Thank you so much for being so prompt in your responses to my questions and concerns and for being accommodating in my request for an alternate aroma. Thanks also to your warehouse staff who put everything together and REMEMBERED to add the other aroma (nice selection by the way!), and who got the shipment out so quickly. Your customer service is OUTSTANDING! Although I haven’t given this to my friend yet, I appreciate that it got here with time to spare in case there would have been any issues. I know he will be impressed with the quality and presentation of this product, and that he will enjoy it for years to come.
Thank you again for all your help…I certainly won’t hesitate to recommend your company or order from you in the future–you’ve been a pleasure to deal with!
-Paul Ehmen, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Dec 2013
I bought the kits for my husband for Christmas. I found you while searching online for wine tasting, identifying wine scents, wine tastings. There were other sites that came up but the customer reviews were awful. I wanted something with elegant presentation and good reviews. You had both!
-Susan coseglia, Huntington Station, New York, December 2/13
I found you while doing an in-depth internet search for a wine scent identifying kit for my husband’s Christmas gift. I chose yours out of all the ones I studied because it appeared to be the most complete in scope and said the scent identifiers would be 10 year, long-lasting, so I took a chance on your company.
… my daughter does marketing and I am well aware of its importance in customer sales. I hope not to be disappointed, and look forward to my husband loving his gift.
-Jan Bear, Morgan Hill, California, November 13/13
I found the service very satisfactory. I had a “glitch” as my postal code did not go through with my order. Rita was quick to let me know and everything was figured out in a jiffy. I can’t wait to receive the kit and offer it as a gift to my wine-lover husband.
I found out about your products by searching on the Internet. Your web site and kits seemed to stand out from the other sites and products. I will be happy to let you know how my husband finds his kit… After Xmas of course!
-Brigitte Ouellette, Petit-Pokemouche NB Baie de Petit-Pokemouche, December 12/13
Thanks so much for taking care me today. I can’t wait to get the Aroma Kit and start learning! My wife and I said that we were not going to exchange gifts for Christmas this year, but I couldn’t resist this one – for both of us.
-David Payne, Weirton, West Virginia, December 18/13