Choreographing Guest Journey

Some say the quality and impact of the experiences you offer your guests matter more these days than having a best-in-class wine. Everything matters – from the moment guests drive onto the property until they leave.  Successful wineries actually choreograph this guest journey experience.

For a memorable guest experience and a positive reflection of your brand, you have to step back and literally look at the path the guests take from the moment they approach your property through the tasting experience from a fresh, consumer point of view.  Creating this path or map is called a Customer Journey Map, and choreographing it to match your goals requires reassessing the way your business is structured, functions and builds relationships with your customers.

Documenting (or mapping) the guest experience from your customer’s point of view helps to understand not only how customers interact with your brand today, but also identifies improvement opportunities. The documentation provides a visual representation of how your guests experience your brand and wine as well as how potential customers go through the shopping process. Customer journey mapping acts like a mirror and enables you to question why you do the things you do. It makes things visible, which might have been right in front of you, but were so familiar you did not notice them or question them.

To begin documenting the guest’s journey, take a close look at a guest’s functional and emotional needs across all aspects of the wine experience, from becoming aware of your brand, making an appointment, arriving, taking a tour, tasting the wine, checking out, and returning. This helps get a deeper insight into your customer needs, perception, experience and motivation. Consider your goals for your guests – whether you want to encourage sales, represent your brand, tell a memorable story, etc. – and then ensure each touch point meets your goals.

Because the purpose of the map is to come up with ideas and possible changes, don’t wait until the end of the exercise to collect ideas. Write down all ideas and insights as you map out your guest journey. Give a clear indication on where action is required and literally drive your guests’ eyes and mind to the key touch points. The visual representation of this is crucial – these insights will be a rich source for improvements and innovative ideas. There is no ‘right’ way to document this and there are plenty of examples and templates offered online. Find one that works best for you and your company.

Once you’ve walked the pathway of your guests, brainstorm ideas for improvement and for developing new experiences that are both outstanding and in sync with your guests’ needs. Ensure your ideas as well as the current status is in line with what your brand stands for and what your goals are for each touch point.

Lastly, put your ideas into action. You may want to want to pare down your list to the top three or five ideas that not only have the power to create a “wow” guest experience but are also easy or less costly to implement. Remember, this is not static – it’s a loop where you will have to wash, rinse, and repeat to constantly keep improving your customers’ experience with your brand.

What do you need to do to choreograph a touch of WOW into your guest journey and experience with your brand?