We've heard the enthusiastic shouts of "Bravo!" and "Encore!" at the theatre, but the two words (Italian and French) have very different meanings. "Bravo" means "a job well done", but "Encore" literally means "again".
When it comes to our website's Contact Us page, recently "Bravo!" has not been in order. It has been a case of "Encore!" Usually an encore is requested when something was so fantastic--a song or a dance--the audience wants to immediately hear it or see it (or a similar performance) again. "Play it again, Sam" was a request for an encore.
But the encore for our Contact Us page is more of a do-over; a "Let's try that one more time, Sam." You see, the Contact Us page is how you can get in touch with moi, the Bon Bon Queen, if you want to host a special event, have bon bons at your wedding, or ask a question you don't see answered on our website.
There is a reason we (along with most companies) use a special form rather than providing an email address where you can contact us. The form deters spambots—those evil automated programs that flood one's inbox with pesky spam emails—from getting in the way of legitimate requests about our delicious bon bons! Despite our efforts, I still get a few messages from Nigerian princesses offering Pascal and I untold millions, but by and large my email is wonderfully entertaining.
If Meg Ryan in French Kiss evokes meeting Pascal in Paris, checking my emails is a little like You’ve Got Mail! I never know exactly what I’ll find when I open a Contact Us request. It ranges from the very sweet to the surreal. Almost every day, I get lovely thank-yous, requests for new flavors, and unusual offers. For example, I’ve received emails from people who want to write our singing telegrams for me and a request from a fellow University of Chicago alumni wanting me to sell our yummy bon bons in his niece's chocolate shop in Mumbai! I receive emails from delighted grandmas wanting bon bons delivered to the maternity ward and many, many requests for charitable donations.
Several weeks after our website shopping cart revamp, it was brought to my attention that the Contact Us page wasn’t working properly. "Sacre bleu!", I said to Pascal--(Okay, I didn't really say that; no self-respecting French speaker actually says "Sacre bleu!" these days. It's like saying "Oh my ears and whiskers!")--but I digress. The point is I was horrified to learn that the people who had been "contacting us" had actually been contacting a black hole in cyber space and there was no way for me to read or respond to their messages. I had been so busy preparing for the holiday season, that I hadn't even thought to wonder why I wasn't getting a few daily Contact Us messages. If you tried to reach us via the Contact Us page over the last several weeks and didn't get a response, please give us an encore!
Our tech team got to work on fixing the problem, and soon thereafter, I received my first new wave of Contact Us messages. One brought tears to my eyes: it was from a customer whose mother had celebrated her 100th birthday "chez nous" at a Bon Bon Party. The lovely daughter was emailing us to let us know that her mom had passed away at 102 and that I should remove her name from our mailing list. I'll never forget that Bon Bon Party nor the ultra-inspiring 100-year-old Georgine. I hope that my 'show' will run as long as hers and that my final curtain call will be just as inspiring. I am most grateful to her daughter for allowing me to remember the spirit of a very special lady and one of our most special Bon Bon Parties "encore".