Meet Doug, Our Real Life
Head of Customer Service
“Doug couldn’t have been more professional… this is a stand-up guy and a stand-up company.” – H Man
“Doug answered all my questions and concerns and without any hard sales talk. I very much appreciated that.” – AJ
“Doug was extremely nice and helpful.. this company certainly has 5 star service.” – Katharina
It was an unusual path that brought Doug Adler to our mattress company. It saw him managing luxury restaurants in the Hamptons, ski resorts in Colorado, and high end hotels and nightclubs in New York City – but right now, he knows he’s settled in the right place.
“I’ve been in hospitality my entire career. I started as a busboy in a fine dining restaurant and worked my way up to manager, even becoming a sommelier along the way, and I really learned the art of customer service from some of the greats in the industry,” ,” says Doug. “In the winter, I used to work at one of the world’s largest ski resorts, where my job was to go do absolutely whatever it took to provide customers with an unforgettable experience. If that meant hiking up a mountain to show a guest the best view in town, I’d do that. ”
It’s a philosophy Doug deliberately brought to WinkBeds, and on his first day of work here, he decided “above and beyond” would be his normal. Now our Director of Operations, he’s not fond of outsourcing customer service to overseas call centers. Instead, he spends most of his time speaking with customers and addressing their needs himself – which makes him the voice of the company for many.
“We’re really trying to be the opposite of most companies,” says Doug. “ At other companies, the bad experience gets drawn out and the customer is strung along: the long time on hold, a robotic script when they answer, difficulty understanding what you’re talking about with regard to the product. I’m about being hospitable, the same way you’d serve people at a bar and a restaurant.”
Doug has worked at a lot of bars. This has hammered home one of his most important lessons in human relations: you never know what kind of day someone is having. That’s why he says it’s important to be pleasant, responsive, and human, right off the bat.
“Sometimes, things happen. Maybe the bed isn’t comfortable, or it’s the wrong size,” Doug admits. “I try to turn an experience that’s traveling in a negative direction into a more positive one.”
That means his calls run a little longer than they would if he were working for a larger company, but Doug likes it that way. Solving problems well is more important to him than faster call times, and it’s an approach that makes a lot of customers eager to keep the conversation going.
“It’s always incredibly gratifying when you get a phone call from a customer to tell you how comfortable they are in that mattress. Sometimes people haven’t bought a new mattress in twenty years and don’t understand how much of a difference the WinkBed could make for them. So, sometimes I spend a lot of time answering questions and explaining the product on the phone, but I don’t mind spending the time if it makes the customer feel more comfortable.”
Business is booming at WinkBeds, and Doug’s team is expanding, but he doesn’t see expedited and more formal phone calls in his future. Customers like being spoken to as though they’re old friends, and Doug knows his approach is giving WinkBeds a reputation that no amount of money can buy.
As the man himself says, “Without providing an excellent experience for the customer, you’re just another brand.”