Augsburg Fortress
One Mission Blog - reflections on the ministry of publishing

Open letter to our customers

February 12th, 2009 by Beth A. Lewis

Dear Customer:

This is a note of apology and explanation.

My colleagues at Augsburg Fortress have been using antiquated computer systems. So, throughout 2008, we worked to prepare for a total replacement of our information technology infrastructure. Our new system went “live” on December 1 since our sales volume is usually relatively low in the month of December. As with many complete conversions of computer systems, we have encountered some unforeseen problems during the conversion. These problems resulted in delays in order processing which in turn resulted in many more phone calls than we normally receive into our Customer Care team. We apologize to those of you who have experienced these delays.

We are working as quickly as possible to solve these problems, but, they aren’t all resolved yet. We have added a second shift to our Distribution Center to work through the backlog of orders. We have added a number of temporary and new employees in our Customer Care department to assist with answering your phone and email queries. Staff members from throughout AF have pitched in to assist with answering your calls. And, we have a team of Information Technology experts, both staff and consultants, working both at our distribution center and our headquarters to correct programming errors.

Over the past 5+ years, many of you have commented to me that you know that you can wait until the last minute to order from Augsburg Fortress because our turnaround time is so fast and accurate. In fact, we have been very proud of our almost 99% rate of picking, packing & shipping in 24 hours or less!

I want to assure you of three things:

1. The quality of our products is superb. You can count on us to provide high quality faith formation and worship resources at a fair price.

2. We will resolve these computer conversion glitches and deliver a high standard of customer care and order processing within the next few weeks.

3. You can always contact me directly if you want to share good news or bad news and I will follow up with you promptly. But, I am not the best person to contact if you want to place or check on an order. In that case, you should contact our Customer Care team at 800-328-4648. It’s not that I don’t want to help you personally, but I’m not nearly as skilled as they are at processing or tracking orders!

We are an organization filled with human beings and, consequently, are subject from time to time to human error. But, we are committed to correcting errors and striving for constant improvement in our service to you. Again, please accept my apology for any service delays you are experiencing. Thank you for your prayerful support of your ministry of publishing.


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Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

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