When you call or email to reorder wine, I might say something like “Umm.., I’m not sure that we have any left. I’ll go downstairs, look in the warehouse, and call you back.” You may have gotten this response enough so that you don’t even think about the implications.
With today’s sophisticated databases, tracking programs, and instant feedback, nobody needs to walk into a warehouse to check inventory. If you are asking about a product or service, the information resides in a computer program that customer service people see on their screens. Mostly, you don’t need to call or email anyone. You can check availability and order online.
Enter Tere Williams, armed with degrees in computer science and accounting, now our hero and partner, he who will bring Celebrations Wine Club into the present year of 2016. Not that you can’t still call so we can compare weather in our different parts of the country, catch up on family members and friends, who also belong to the wine club, talk about politics and religion when you reorder wine or update your credit card. Although Celebrations Wine Club has been an online business for 20 years, I’ve operated it as though it were a neighborhood store, one of the reasons that I enjoy it so much.
But now you’ll have another option, a system at Celebrations Wine Club that will enable you to access information more efficiently than I have ever delivered it. It’s in the works, thanks to Tere. Make no mistake though. Tere is not a nerd, who cares only about systems. He loves wine and is willing to take on the updating task only because we sell it, drink it, and celebrate it. He has actually taken wine a step further. He made some.
I asked Tere what prompted the uncommon leap from drinking wine to making it. “Just the way I am,” he said. “I think I can do anything. It’s a problem that I have.” The wine was bad, he admitted, one major reason being that he was fermenting grape concentrate instead of grapes. So the experiment ended, and he’s back to drinking wine made by professionals, those featured by Celebrations Wine Club.
Should Tere answer your phone call, you’ll hear his southern accent, which he developed in Oklahoma, where he was born and raised. The accent expresses the warmth and hospitality, or which southerners are famous. He’ll happily answer your questions, but he won’t have to run downstairs to get the information. And neither will I. Nor will you have to wait for a call-back. Happy 2016!