Caller Communication Styles

Ring-Ring – Who’s There? Caller Communication Styles Every customer is different in their relationship with us, and in their relationship with wine.  But most importantly, each one is also different in terms of their own behavior and communication styles, irrespective of us.  We get lots of visual clues about this when they are across the bar from us in our tasting rooms.  But how do we figure this out when they call us on the phone? We all know the Golden Rule – treat others as we want to be treated.  At WISE we believe in the Platinum Rule –… Read more »

DTC Resolutions

Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for DTC Success in 2017 Cheers to 2017!  A brand new year is ahead of us, and we vow to do all those wonderful, productive things we didn’t get to do in 2016.  As we set our sights on growing our business this year, let’s fill up our calendars and to-do lists with activities that will really pay off. Here are the Top 3 Resolutions on our list for 2017. Make Friends with our Data and Take Action Now is the time to get out in front of the crush that has kept us busy… Read more »

Survey Says

Survey Says… Top 10 Tips for Customer Survey Design Do you know what is really important to your customers?  Surveys can be an important tool for gauging satisfaction with your brand, and for finding out what your customers truly value.  They can be used to test loyalty and evaluate existing benefits, and the results can be used to drive program changes. A study by SurveyMonkey offers some insights for creating surveys.  Here are the Top 10 Tips: 1. KISS – Keep It Short and Segmented Overall survey length remains important for keeping abandon rates low. Are you excited about answering… Read more »

Holiday Experiences

The Importance of Immersive Holiday Experiences With a successful harvest now behind us, it’s time to focus on our customers’ needs and wants for the holiday season.  While most retailers have been planning for months for this all-important period, it’s not too late for us to come up with the kinds of experiences we offer in our tasting rooms that will create and cement customer loyalty. In 2015, US retail sales saw a moderate growth of 3%, despite unforeseen weather events and a soft retail environment. But the biggest spike was during the holiday season, where sales grew by 9%. … Read more »

Outsourcing Telesales

Outsourcing Telesales How to Succeed in 5 WISE Steps Telesales is the fastest growing channel in winery consumer-direct-sales.  Whether you choose to do this in-house or outsource it, we encourage you to take advantage of this sales channel – but be smart about it. Staffing for it requires special skills and training.  As a result, many wineries have chosen to outsource this to a professional organization that deals specifically with winery telesales. If you outsource, here are five WISE points to remember to achieve the greatest success in this channel. 1. Start Off Right Your telesales partner needs just as… Read more »

Wine Club & Tasting Room Staff

3 Big Beefs, 3 Big Tenderizers If ever there were two teams who should be BFFs, it’s the Tasting Room and Wine Club staffs.  Yet, far more often than we would like, we hear about the difficulties they have in communicating and working together to achieve common goals.  These relationships seem to be Frenemies at best.  As we head into our high season, let’s see if we can come up with some solutions to the big issues we hear about time and time again, so that these teams can work in harmony.   Here are the Top 3 Beefs we… Read more »


Atmospherics One one-thousand, two one-thousand… it takes 7 to 10 seconds after walking through the door to positively impact a guest’s decision to buy. Everything they see, hear, touch, smell, and taste is a form of communication, creating tangible and intangible impressions of your brand. The cumulative effect of how their five senses are engaged say: “Here is what we have to offer. What do you think?” Over 40 years ago Philip Kotler, Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University Graduate School of Management, coined the term “Atmospherics.” In tasting rooms, where the complexities of mapping a guest’s journey through their… Read more »

Saying “No”

Saying ‘No’ with Grace According to a recent study of guests at 5-Star Resorts in Europe, the three most significant, positive employee behaviors that impact the guest experience are: Being polite and cheerful Making the customer feel special by anticipating needs and providing relevant surprise and delight, which is tapping into their unidentified desires Being knowledgeable enough to answer questions confidently The two most significant negative behaviors are: Being sulky or moody Giving negative answers to requests The good news for us is that delivering on the positive behaviors, while avoiding the negative behaviors, costs us exactly $0.  So let’s… Read more »

Good Enough Never Is

Good Enough Never Is Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies has this motto: Good Enough Never Is.  From this philosophy, she built a cookie business empire.  Making people feel special and cared for, giving customers her very best, was a key ingredient in her recipe for success. In our world, great winery guest experiences are a well-orchestrated dance between performing the acts of service, and creating the feelings of hospitality.  Customers want magic in the tasting room: the magic of wine, winemaking, the beauty of the wine country, the beauty of the tasting room, the joy of people coming together. … Read more »

Seed Planting

Seed Planting Now that the weather is getting warmer in most of the country, it’s time to plant seeds in our gardens that will grow food and flowers in the months ahead.  This annual ritual of spring renewal is a happy time for gardeners. For those of us who manage Tasting Rooms, it’s time to look forward to the coming busy season when many guests will visit.  Just like the gardeners among us, we need to plant the seeds with our customers and staff that will bear fruit in the coming months.  To reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest… Read more »