Embarrassing Moment Turns Into Customer Service Awesomeness

header_wineJust before the holidays, my husband and I took a drive and spent a relaxing afternoon sipping wine and eating snacks at Rappahannock Cellars. The view of the vineyards was lovely even in wintertime and the conversation among all the people there was a lot of fun.

We were driving home when we realized that we had left without paying for the wine or the snacks. Oops. Embarrassing.

I sent an email to the wine club manager just as fast as my fingers could manage on my phone, hoping to reach them before they realized that I had wined and dashed. They were closed, so I had to wait a day to see if there would be any response.

Boy, was there ever a response. I share it with you (and with Allan’s permission) as an awesome example of customer service at its finest.

My message:

Hi Allan. This afternoon we had a lovely relaxing time in the member’s area. We enjoyed a bottle of Noblesse Rouge and a flatbread. Unfortunately, we completely forgot to pay.

We are so embarrassed. Can you please charge our card appropriately?

Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Response from Allan Delmare, wine club manager:

First of all, you’re awesome.

Second, you’re awesome.

Thanks for letting me know! Anyhow, it’s our fault for not shouting at you while you were here – it’s not your job to mind the tab! … so I really appreciate you taking the time to email me and let me know. I discounted the bottle of Rouge and pushed the order through for that and the cheese plate.

Third, you’re awesome.

Merry Christmas to YOU guys. I hope all is well, and I’ll look forward to catching up with you soon.

This message was prompt, professional, and personal (and the repeated compliment wasn’t a bad touch either). Far from slapping my hand, the message acknowledged the winery’s responsibility in the relationship and let me know that there isn’t some kind of Seinfeld-esque black mark on my record.

This wasn’t my first positive experience as a customer at the winery and I am sure it won’t be my last. Some businesses just seem to have the right culture to get it right again and again.

On a related note, you might enjoy my post, “A Little Wine, A Little Communication Lesson.”