Remember when I complained about wine.com not answering my e-mail from their wine buyer page? Well, they apologized...in writing. And they sent me some lovely wines. Margaret, who is an Account Manager in their "Business Gifting" group found my blog post while searching "wine.com". Why aren't all companies doing this? The searching and responding, that is.

I actually got her letter before I received the box and would have been satisfied just by the letter itself (seems some technical difficulties were the culprit, which she is looking into).  This is probably fodder for another post on the balance between "why" the customer is unsatisfied and the simple fact that they ARE unsatisfied (or as Jeff Hunter puts it, whether the company wants to be rich or right). Regardless, the gift was very generous (and it was obvious that they looked at some of my back orders to see what I like) and appreciated (and will be enjoyed just as soon as I get off phase one of South Beach...grrr).

I'm not suggesting that all companies send free stuff to people who complain. It is really up to them to decide how to handle complaints. Usually, just fixing the problem (and letting the customer know) will satisfy the complainer and turn a "boo!" into a "yay!".

I can't help but think about the role blogging plays in all of this. The virtual megaphone shouldn't be ignored by companies and for the consumer, it allows a certain amount of power (because "the customer is always right" doesn't exist in a vacuum); a voice. In all of my thinking about how companies treat customers, it's easy to focus on what companies do wrong. I'll try to focus more on companies that are doing it right and/or fix what's wrong. Every so often, I am delighted by a shopping experience and I should talk about that (there's a blog post about my lawn fertilizer guys in there somewhere). I've done a little of that but I can do more. I don't want to get into the business of expecting free stuff (and I don't) just because my blog allows me to complain louder than some other customers. At the same time, I have such an appreciation for companies that understand customer care and are proactive about it (no gift required). Anyway, wine.com:

For the letter...well done!

For the wine...thanks (and don't worry, I'll be back)!

For searching on wine.com to find out what people are saying about you...very, very smart!