We are all familiar with the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you; in other words, treat others as you would like to be treated. But in a high-touch service industry like wine, is that really the best we can do?
Successful wineries have learned that it isn’t enough to just be courteous. With so many wineries for customers to choose from, how will you distinguish your brand? The key is to make the service exceptional, the interaction unique, and the experience memorable!
For an extraordinary customer experience, upgrade to the Platinum Rule – treat customers as they want to be treated. This means finding out how they want to be treated and doing it. Be observant. Listen. Ask open-ended questions to engage customers in order to determine their needs and wants. Pay attention to their responses, both verbal and non-verbal, and be sure to create dialogue around their answers. When you ask questions, listen to the replies and build a connection with the person in front of you, their unique experience at your winery will be memorable. When you build rapport and tailor the discussion to their needs, you not only can exceed their expectations, but also successfully make an easier, more natural sale.
For example, we may have a special on Chardonnay and want to sell that wine. But if we learn that the customer across the tasting bar only likes red wine, we need to honor their preference and find a red wine that will suit their palate. Likewise, during the tasting experience, some customers want conversation and others prefer to be left alone to enjoy the wines quietly. One size does not fit all. Get to know your customers individually and deliver a platinum experience they deserve.