Dream a Little Dream with Me

Let’s go on an adventure.  Close your eyes and imagine taking the most luxurious vacation of your dreams.  Money is no object.  You will be pampered in a stunning setting.  It’s as if the staff can read your mind – everything you desire appears before you even ask for it.  You will never forget this incredible experience. Let’s go on an adventure.  Close your eyes and imagine taking the most luxurious vacation of your dreams.  Money is no object.  You will be pampered in a stunning setting.  It’s as if the staff can read your mind – everything you desire appears before you even ask for it.  You will never forget this incredible experience.

What are the details of your dream vacation?  Whether it occurs on a tropical island or in the mountains, it likely includes these amenities:

  • Ideal accommodations
  • Wonderful food and beverages
  • Activities we enjoy
  • Amazing staff and service that anticipates our needs and fills them
  • Extra special things we like without having to ask

When you think about it, there’s not much difference between the amenities of that dream vacation and what we offer to our guests every day:

  • Ideal accommodations – OUR GORGEOUS WINERY & TASTING ROOM
  • Wonderful food and beverages – OUR FANTASTIC WINE, FOOD PAIRINGS
  • Activities we enjoy – OUR TOUR AND TASTING EXPERIENCES
  • Amazing staff and service that anticipates our needs and fills them – OUR WELL-TRAINED TEAM
  • Extra special things we like without having to ask – FROM NOTES WITHIN OUR POS AND CRM SYSTEMS

So, what does it take to deliver that ‘dream vacation’ experience?  Here are 7 WISE steps to make it happen:

1. Make a strong, positive first impression.
Maybe we don’t have a greeter, so this role belongs to everyone.  A warm smile and a word of welcome are all it takes.  Be mindful to smile at each guest, even if you are not personally serving them.  Remember that if the customer can see you, you are on stage.  This is especially important for office staff who come into the tasting room on a mission – yes, you too are on stage then, so play the part of a welcoming host.

2. Call customers by name whenever possible, and instill a warm sense of belonging.  
If you’re an avid Starbucks regular, your local barista knows your name, your very-specific-order, and is ready with this knowledge every time you walk in the door. Whether you’re a fan or not, Starbucks’ business model for customer service is to anticipate your needs and deliver.  If we emulate this example and remember our best customers, they will think of us as THEIR winery and bring their friends to us as well.

3. Ask the right questions so we know how to fill their needs.  
Are they brand new to the winery or are they club members? What kind of wine buyer are they – are ratings important to them, are they value buyers, are they new to buying wine?   We need to learn this about each guest because it changes the conversation and tells us how to serve them better.  Asking open-ended questions will help us better assess these needs.

4. Anticipate their needs and pay close attention to detail.
Do they need a pen, a napkin, a dump bucket, some water?  What kind of silent cues are they giving that we can learn information from? Notice their buying signals and actively listen to feedback to better anticipate th

5. Track customer preferences via POS-CRM.
If we have kept good customer records, we can anticipate our guests’ needs and desires.  When guests make an appointment for their visit, we can look them up in advance and be ready with their favorites based on what they’ve enjoyed in the past.  Keeping records about anniversaries, birthdays, children’s names and ages, pets, etc. helps build a picture about our guest and makes the experience more personal when we bring up these details during their visit.

6. Information distribution to the team and great teamwork
Who is coming to visit?  Are they celebrating a special occasion?  Who is hosting this guest and what do they need to know?  Everyone has a part in the school play.  We are either serving our guests or we are supporting those who do.  Keeping records about our guests also helps the entire team get to know who they are… whether they did the hosting or not.

7. Make it our personal mission to be of service and ensure customer satisfaction
Rather than just recommending a couple of restaurants when asked, why not make restaurant reservations? You help the customer and build goodwill for your winery with that local restaurant (be sure to use your name from ABC winery). Surprise and delight guests beyond their expectations with these concierge steps or by noticing silent cues and actively listening – these are great ways to show our service heart.

Our guests are coming to us for an adventure, for an experience they will enjoy.  We live the dream every day, so we need to remember to step back and appreciate it from our guests’ perspective. It’s not rocket science, but the smallest things we can do for our guests will go a long way. They will never forget this incredible experience at our WISE winery.

 

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