Mollydooker Wines Case Study
Quality wines and quality customer service supported by a ShoreTel Unified Communications solution drive international success for Australian winemaker
Local Australian winemaker tackling international market
Mollydooker Wines (‘Mollydooker’) is based in the South Australian McLaren Vale wine region. The winemaker has three vineyards and a total of 116 acres of grape vines, producing 80,000 dozen cases of wine each vintage. Originally established to supply wine exclusively for the US market, Mollydooker now also has a significant domestic market and international distribution network. The winemaker has a reputation for producing worldclass wines, with its 2012 vintage Carnival of Love Shiraz awarded the number two wine in the world in 2014 by Wine Spectator magazine.
With distributors in every State in the US, Mollydooker prides itself on its ‘old-fashioned’ approach to business and customer service, explains Andrew Brown, IT Manager at Mollydooker Wines.
“When people buy our products – whether that’s the customer themselves, a restaurant, distributor or a liquor store – we make a ‘thank you’ call.”
“We ship to most of the US direct to the consumer, which means we do a lot of phone calls from Australia, and US customers really love getting a phone call from someone in Australia, with the accent, saying: ‘We see your wine has been delivered, thank you very much for the order. We hope you enjoy it and please let us know if we can do anything else for you.’ It’s our main marketing strategy.”
Currently taking between 500 and 1000 international orders per month, it translates to a lot of phone calls.
ShoreTel solution overcomes regional communications infrastructure
In the past, Mollydooker’s approach to customer service and communications had created problems, with its digital telephony solution at end of life, and a number of remote offices that weren’t connected on the same phone system. Mollydooker also faced ongoing challenges and frequent outages with an outdated and poorly-performing regional telecommunications infrastructure. Added to that, mobile phone coverage in their area was patchy and unreliable.
“We’re trying to run an international wine business out of a small country town in South Australia and a lot of the systems in place here date from the 1950s. Where we are trying to make the leap in technology is to make ourselves more connected to the outside world,” said Brown.
“AS YOU SCALE TO A BIGGER BUSINESS, THE REWARDS FROM THE SHORETEL SYSTEM REALLY SHOW THEMSELVES."
Andrew Brown, IT Manager
With an emphasis on voice as its key customer service differentiator, Mollydooker needed a stable, reliable and high-quality telephony solution. It also had to be adaptable to scale and evolve with Mollydooker’s international growth plans and changing business model.
Mollydooker’s introduction to ShoreTel Unified Communications stemmed from a meeting about improving its mobile phone reception. The conversation quickly turned to Mollydooker’s entire telephony environment, and how it could improve.
The decision to deploy ShoreTel Unified Communications was based on the solution’s overall reliability and stability, the improvement ShoreTel could make to Mollydooker’s customer service and sales,and the potential the solution offered for future growth and capability.
In preparation for the ShoreTel deployment, Mollydooker replaced its ADSL broadband service with a direct fibre optic connection for voice and data, implementing SIP trunking and reserving 1MB for voice traffic.
Achieving Mollydooker’s customer service objectives
Using the ShoreTel Communicator client, staff members are able to use their PCs to manage contacts, use click to call, transfer calls and communicate with other staff members using instant messaging, and have visibility on their call history. Integration of ShoreTel with Microsoft Outlook allows users to use their email to access and play back all voicemails received.
Mollydooker has also used ShoreTel’s workgroup features to set up hunt groups, follow-me and overflow rules to ensure that all calls are answered.
Most importantly, ShoreTel has significantly improved Mollydooker’s communication with its customers.
“Since the start of using ShoreTel as a product within the company, we’ve seen a lot better communication with the outside world, as well as the ease and quality of that communication with our customers. No more time delays or fading out, which makes that experience of calling our customers that much more effective,” said Brown.
One unique feature of Mollydooker’s ShoreTel system aligns nicely with the company’s old-fashioned branding, aesthetic and approach to customer service. An old 1950s Bakelite and brass telephone features in the Mollydooker cellar door and has been set up with a ShoreTel analogue licence, so that all calls to the toll free number will ring twice on that phone first, before switching through to the customer service team on ShoreTel handsets. More than just of novelty benefit, the old phone’s ring alerts the team to a customer call.
“In the cellar door environment when we have customers, and we are never quite sure how busy we are going to be, our priority is always to look after the face-to-face customer. If we have an internal phone call from internal staff members, sometimes we will ignore it if we are dealing with the public. What we’ve set up here is an alert to make sure we didn’t ignore a customer from the outside world,” said Brown.
From an administrative perspective, ShoreTel Unified Communications has resulted in significant benefits.
“We’ve saved a lot of time and effort as far as moving staff. In the old days with a PABX it might be a two or three hour process to move the staff member just on the communications side of things – whereas now, with the plug and play features of ShoreTel you don’t have to worry about that,” said Brown.
“Diverting phone numbers around the company was a laborious task. What we can do now with a few clicks on the keyboard used to take four or five hours for someone to redirect phones and then you wouldn’t know about whether it worked for three or four days.”
“There is a considerable saving in the amount of effort it takes, the effectiveness of that communication and the amount of time we need to expend on making changes to the structure of the communications.”
Also, with redundancy in place, Mollydooker has been enjoying 99.999% availability since the ShoreTel system was installed.
"SINCE THE START OF USING SHORETEL AS A PRODUCT WITHIN THE COMPANY, WE’VE SEEN A LOT BETTER COMMUNICATION WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD, AS WELL AS THE EASE AND QUALITY OF THAT COMMUNICATION WITH OUR CUSTOMERS.”
“With ShoreTel as a product itself – and it’s not just the physical phones but also the desktop client and software that goes with the system – I would certainly recommend it to any company that has multiple channels of communication with the outside world, especially if you are communicating on an international scale,” concluded Brown.
Mollydooker has some exciting plans for the future and is confident that its ShoreTel solution will support its business growth. The ShoreTel infrastructure is currently virtualised on-site, with Mollydooker planning to move most of the functionality to an off-site hosted facility, and will also implement a 4G failover in case there is a network outage. This will provide greater redundancy and ensure ongoing connectivity, especially for its vital customer sales and service operations.
Based in regional South Australia, Mollydooker Wines needed a reliable, easy-to-use and effective communications solution to service its Australian and international sales and marketing operations.
Mollydooker Wines implemented a ShoreTel Unified Communications solution across its three McLaren Vale vineyards, extending to three US-based full-time resources who manage sales and marketing in Mollydooker’s most important market.
- Supporting corporate sales and marketing strategies
- Better communications with international colleagues
- Improved interconnectivity between different nodes of the business
- Productivity improvements and increased use of softwarebased communications tools
- Reduced telephony administrative overheads and effort