Thursday, December 4, 2008

AMAZING WHAT PASSES FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE THESE DAYS


I was waiting in the doctor's office with my wife the other day and to kill a bit of time, I thumbed through an old Cincinnati Magazine. At the back of the issue was an article written by our good friend Mike Rosenberg (of The Naked Vine). Mike was discussing how when he first got into wine, he was often intimidated by wine stores, not knowing what to look for or who to ask. It was kind of revealing. I mean, we've all been there.

But what struck me as hilarious was the visit to one of our competitor's I must say, and his confrontation with one of the wine staff. Mike was looking for a rose, one that wasn't too acidic, and the wine person there told him they didn't carry it and they WOULDN'T CARRY IT. Mike asked why and the person told him it wasn't acidic enough to be a real rose. When Mike said that is what he liked in a rose, the person basically came out and told him he had an inferior palate, berated him in the middle of the store and stormed off.

Ha! I thought, Damn! What balls! I know if that person worked for us, he wouldn't be working for us no more. Customer service is huge in this business because wine is such a community thing. People love to tell other people about what wine they had last night with dinner, or what wine suggestion they got from the wine store down the street. Oh, and did you see that Chateau XYZ just got 91 points in Spectator, and it's only $10!

You get the idea.

I'm glad Mike shops with us now, but regardless of where he or anyone else shops, the object of all of this is that you find good people at a place you feel comfortable with, whether it's Piazza Discepoli in Cincinnati, Eric Jerardi's Little Store up in Vandalia, Mary Kay at The Winds Wine Store way up in Yellow Springs, or Gordo down at Old Town in Louisville. The people there at the wine stores you go to are there for YOU! They may have SUGGESTIONS but they are there to service YOUR NEEDS and YOUR LIKES. That's what it's all about. And it doesn't require a Ph.D. to understand that.

2 comments:

Mike said...

There are plenty of other options for your staff to use to make fun of me aside from my inferior palate... :-)

k2 said...

Mike,

No one is making fun of you. What IS funny is I think I know who it was that ridiculed you at the PS - and I think he's been sacked! So I don't think you were the only one HE mocked. You won't ever be mocked around here.