A few weeks ago, we had some friends over and someone brought a six-pack of Mill St beer. To all of our surprise, when we took the beer out to put it in the fridge, one of the bottles was completely empty, but the bottle cap was still sealed. What a strange turn of events. My wife then emailed a customer service rep and received a response within 24 hours. Joel Manning, the Brewmaster, responded that he was very sorry for our inconvenience and that he would be happy to send us coupons for two free six-packs. He also asked for the serial number on the bottle so he could track down the batch and see what happened. I was impressed by his response for many reasons, and this can serve as a lesson for other companies on how to handle customer issues and treat them as opportunities to create brand loyalty:
- They responded quickly and decisively – It did not matter how the issue came to be, Joel wanted to make it right, so offered us free beer in return for our troubles and responded within 24 hours. It was also nice to get a response from someone that could remedy the situation immediately and not some rep that had no power.
- They were concerned about tracking down the root cause – By asking us for the serial number, I truly believe they were going to look into the issue to ensure that it never happens again. That shows a company that has its customers in mind and is interested in continuous improvement.
- They never questioned our intentions – Joel apologized and offered a solution immediately. He did not ask for proof or more detail to ensure that our complaint was legitimate. He trusted his customer and built on this trust to build brand loyalty.
- They created a connection – Joel sent us his card with the coupons for the free beer and told us to contact him at any time if we had any other questions or issues, putting a personal face on the company.
I applaud Mill St brewery for the way they handled this situation and hope that they continue to do business like this in the future.