What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? The hospitality industry – hotels, restaurants, and wineries – often uses mystery shopping as a tool to measure our service experiences in unbiased ways. It helps us understand what our customers perceive and experience, as well as what they understand about our brand. Statistics  WISE provides mystery shopping as a service, but we also do many informal shops when friends or family from out of the area come to visit. So by both anecdotal insights and from 4,000+ results of WISE shops, we see that while EVERY winery has a compelling brand story, tasting room staff are… Read more »

Wine Club: How I’ll Spend My Summer Vacation

Wine Club: How I’ll Spend My Summer Vacation The last spring wine club shipment is finally out the door. Woohoo, it’s time to plan our summer vacation. Let’s have that well-deserved umbrella drink and relax for a while – at least an hour! OK, now that we’re all refreshed and ready to go, here’s what we want to do for our wine club this summer: Review our Data and Plan for Next Year What happened with our club this spring? How was our successful ship rate versus our number of members? What was our average order value? Where can we… Read more »


Onboarding Winners We’ve hired the best candidates for our tasting room and now we’re ready for high season, right? Not quite – our work is not done until we onboard them properly. This goes far beyond having the new hires shadow our best staff members. There are best practices we should to follow to make sure our newbies learn our brand and procedures, and stay excited to work for us and take care of our guests. Imagine two guys starting out at two different wineries on the same day. They leave the house in the morning – kiss the spouse,… Read more »

Hiring Winners

Hiring Winners High season is almost here!  It’s time to hire our team of All Stars to care for our guests who will be arriving soon.  Although it’s tempting to simply put out an ad like the one we ran last year, there is a better way to approach the hiring process to be sure we are hiring right.  Here are the steps that will help us get the results we want. Step One – The bottom line:  Get off autopilot.  Analyze the organization, department and position.  When you have an opening, don’t assume you should fill the exact same… Read more »

Planning Staffing

Planning Staffing for Busy Time Before we know it, busy season will be upon us.  Most wineries will be looking to add staff to accommodate summer visitors.  Now is the time to begin the planning process for hiring and onboarding an All-Star Team. We need to get management to view staffing as a variable cost.  If we work exclusively with a headcount cap, we’ll end up with insufficient staffing.  We need to justify staffing decisions based on sales dollars per labor hour, new club sign-ups per labor hour, visitors per labor hour.   We also need to measure average order value,… Read more »

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 »