Looking back over the last twelve difficult months, we have been reflecting upon what we have enjoyed (or not) about the dynamics of our business during this time.
Undoubtedly, not being able to welcome visitors to our Candle Cellar Door has meant that we have missed some of the wonderful interaction that we can have with customers...sometimes it's the look of shock/horror on the faces of first time visitors when they realise that few candles are as safe and healthy as UAINE's and that the ones they have been buying elsewhere in the past could have been providing them with health and safety risks; the happiness of visiting our Candle Cellar Door enjoying experiencing and learning about soy candles rather than being 'sold to'; the joy of discovering that it is possible to ethically produce quality candles at reasonable prices; the amazement of how long our reed diffusers last; the dawning that even though someone has allergies they can still enjoy UAINE products without suffering reactions; the understanding that online orders don't have a minimum order value and that we include free delivery in Australia and complimentary gift wrapping on request; or appreciating that we have some knowledge that we are wanting to share, that we love doing it and we love our customers.
Even though we have missed all of the above, and lots more, we have been delighted with the level of business and support from our growing number of UAINE diehards and Clan members. For those in the Hunter region we have endeavoured to make personal deliveries, where practical, and have often enjoyed talking with many of you, checking how you're doing and responding to how we are doing. In the 12 months we have personally delivered around 366 orders (so, around an average of one a day!). Although that's a small proportion of our total orders, these interactions have been important to us. And yes, I have been chased by the odd dog, had to jump fences and gates, wade through puddles, dodge snakes and, on one occasion, was nearly bitten by an alarmed alpaca. I think that's why we have couriers?!!
For those of you elsewhere in Australia, the interaction during deliveries of thousands of online orders isn't always quite as personal. We have tried to make up for this by being attentive to your needs. Delivery times have sometimes extended out and I know a few of you have had to wait longer for your goodies than we would hope. Additionally, the odd parcel has gone missing, and occasionally a candle has arrived broken. I have always said that we can't ensure that we do everything right but that we should always do the right thing. We can ensure that we respond to a problem in a helpful and friendly manner and we try to maintain a high level of communication while we are addressing or fixing a problem. We do hope that is how you feel about our service? And we have been by and large well served by our excellent preferred courier partners, Fastway/Aramex.
So, I'm putting out a challenge. We'd like to hear about your best service (or amusing, or ridiculous!) story from UAINE Candles. Please drop us a line and we'll select our favourite to win a prize (a beautiful 70 hour candle, fragrance of your choice). If there's more than one outstanding one we might just arrange for more than one prize?!! We'll close this out at the end of February and then the winner/s will be informed by email.
Best regards Andrew and the UAINE Candles team