Our research at WISE, especially emphasized by our 1,500+ mystery shops in tasting rooms, is that when a guest has a great experience (the customer satisfaction is high), then they are more likely to purchase. In a nutshell, the better the guest experience, the greater potential for sales. Sounds easy, right? Except, there is a lot that can affect the guest experience and if we aren’t managing it, we may unknowingly be setting ourselves up for failure.
Guest Journey Map
One WISE concept is to use a Guest Journey Map (January 2014 e-newsletter WISE Bites), to plot out the guest experience from your customer’s point of view from the moment they approach your property through the tasting or tour experience to its conclusion. This concept helps choreograph the experience with your goals for the guests – whether you want to encourage sales, represent your brand, tell a memorable story, etc. – and then we can ensure each touch point meets these goals. Choreographing the guest experience helps minimize the backstage issues and help ensure a flawless ‘performance’ or experience.
Beyond the choreographing, our team also needs to be able to understand and anticipate the guests’ needs to ensure they get that memorable experience. Dialog and building rapport are essential here, which means the team needs to be asking open-ended questions to figure out their customers. Guests enjoy feeling as though their experience has been created just for them. By engaging with the guests, this creates a bonding moment that then translates into a unique experience that guests will remember.
Surprise & Delight
A great way to make an experience memorable to guests is to add a bit of ‘surprise and delight.’ This is something the staff does that makes the guest feel that it’s special; it’s when staff goes above and beyond what was expected, for example, an extra pour based on special interests, made a reservation for lunch or at the next winery, a surprise barrel tasting, etc.
There are many opportunities to create surprise and delight in a brand-appropriate way, but it should never be a one-size-fits-all. One way to create some surprise and delight is to actually choreograph opportunities in to the guest experience. But, always encourage staff to find out about each guest and what would make their experience extra special. Have options available for guests in a brand-appropriate way. The key here is to stress that each guest is unique, so their surprise and delight over something will vary and staff needs to find out exactly would that would be. Doing the same ‘special’ thing for every guest is as effective as doing nothing special at all. Staff need to figure out each guest and what would exceed their expectations on an already, assuredly, remarkable experience.
Why not make it a company standard to always exceed guests’ expectations? Surprise and delight your guests making it a memorable guest experience. With the additional sales sure to follow, isn’t it worth it?