The Future of Group Gifts

I recently had several superb experiences with a web app called Shareagift that I want to share with you.

Shareagift is a platform for purchasing group gifts. Say you decide that you want to buy a $2,000 grill as a wedding present for your friend, but you don’t have that kind of cash. Within a few minutes, you can enter that amount on Shareagift and send it to your friends so everyone can contribute within a certain timeframe. When the deadline arrives, you transfer the money to your bank account and do whatever you want with it. It’s simple, intuitive, and easy to use.

I’m coordinating a big fundraiser for my day job, and I wanted to purchase a few items for the auction (most items are donated, but there are a few items that I think will go over well that we couldn’t get donations for). So at the suggestion of my auction chair, I created “affinity groups gifts”–like class gifts, but for different classifications.

Shareagift was perfect for this. It took me about a half hour to get 10 different affinity group gift campaigns running, and all I had to do was sit back and wait for the donations (picture me leaning back in my chair with my feet on my desk, something I never do, but really should try sometime). However, I realized at the last minute that I had a few groups that I had forgotten, so I decided to hold off on launching the campaign for a day until I could enter the others.

Here’s where the really impressive part started.

I got an e-mail from an employee of Shareagift named Tessa saying that she noticed I had created a number of group gifts but hadn’t launched them. She was just checking in to see if I needed help.

Take a second to think about this. I didn’t have to contact customer service for help. Customer service identified a possible problem based on my interaction with the website and contacted me. Absolutely brilliant.

As I noted above, I didn’t actually have an issue, but a few quick e-mails with Tessa revealed that I needed to link my PayPal account to Shareagift, which alleviated further issues down the road.

It gets better.

Tessa’s the one with brown hair and a white shirt. If you look closely, you can see the halo above her head.

The campaign went fairly well and ended a few days ago. Yesterday I tried to transfer the funds to PayPal, but after a few successful transfers, I couldn’t seem to click the “submit” button any longer (as I would later learn, because Shareagift isn’t often used for as many gifts as I had started, there is a limit to the number of transfers you can do a day).

At the end of the workday yesterday, I e-mailed Tessa to tell her about the issue. I had a response within minutes, even though it was nearly midnight in England, where Shareagift is based.

In the e-mails that followed that night and that morning, something happened that I think is extremely underutilized in web commerce today. Basically, I still couldn’t get funds to transfer, so I asked Tess to transfer them for me.

You know how this usually works. You get an e-mail back from a customer service rep who has looked in his/her manual for the correct procedure, which is to tell you that you’ll have to wait until the problem is fixed before you can get what you need. You’re never allowed to circumvent the preset parameters on a website anymore. It’s unheard of, and as wonderful as Tessa had been up until that point, I didn’t think there was much of a chance that she could transfer the funds for me.

Within minutes, Tessa transferred the rest of the funds. I was astounded. If she worked in my office, I probably would have hugged her.

Shareagift provides a neat service that I’m sure all of us can use from time to time. But there are a lot of cool companies and services out there. What makes this company stand out is truly exceptional customer service. And for all I know, maybe it’s just Tessa. But if they’re smart enough to hire Tessa, I think they know what they’re doing.

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