March 25, 2004, 12:00 AM

American Cellars finds online surveys better way to probe customers’ tastes

Wine purchases can be a pretty picky lot, but American Cellars Wine Club has found the best way to analyze their taste preferences is through online surveys.

Wine purchasers can be a pretty picky lot, but American Cellars Wine Club has found the best way to analyze their taste preferences is through online surveys. The time saved over processing paper surveys leaves more time for providing customer service, says vice president of marketing Nick Perdiew.

American Cellars, which sells wine direct to consumers through ACWC.com and a call center, replaced its paper surveys last year a web-hosted survey application from WebSurveyor Corp. "We’ve justified the expense over one year and found that WebSurveyor paid for itself in our first monthly survey by helping us understand our members and their motivations better," Perdiew says. "The time we save allows us to address specific customer needs more quickly. We want to improve the experience for our customers and their feedback helps us decide where to direct our efforts."

Perdiew adds that the cost of online surveys is 20% of the cost of American Cellars’ former paper surveys. But the real cost is even less when factoring in the time saved in not having to re-enter data from paper surveys into spreadsheets, "and far less if you include the analysis cost of deriving useful information from the responses," he says.

American Cellars accesses a web administration page to design its surveys and then e-mail them, using the application sitting on WebSurveyor’s web server. Survey recipients click on a link in the e-mail message that takes them to a survey form sitting on WebSurveyor’s web site, which aggregates the data. Perdiew and his staff can then order customized analysis reports, including data charts and graphs, to analyze the demand for particular types of wine by different groups of customers based on demographics and other data.

 

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