Mystery Shopping Lessons

What makes your winery different than your neighbors’? Your story? Your wines? Your location or venue? Making your winery stand out as different from the hundreds of other wineries is more of a challenge than you might think.

What makes your brand different from your neighbors and other wineries sells the experience. And, what you and your team think of as your brand story may not be the message that your guests perceive. The best way to figure this out isn’t seeing it written up on Yelp! or TripAdvisor (although it’s good to check there) – don’t make your customers pay for your shortcomings. Hire help to get an unbiased opinion. One of the most effective ways of doing this is mystery shopping.

After more than five hundred mystery shops, we’ve learned some lessons that can really take a winery experience from mediocre to “WOW.”

Top Ten Mystery Shopping Lessons

  1. Eliminate your Backstage – make sure what happens ‘behind the scene’ stays there – both physical surroundings and staff attitudes/conversations
  2. Master your Greeting – give a smile and make eye contact within 15 seconds of guests’ arrival
  3. Understand your Flow – from your service design to virtual merchandising to silent selling
  4. Recognize Buying Signals – both verbal and non-verbal cues, they are more obvious than you think
  5. Nail the Triple Score – Ask for the order, Sell Your Wine Club, & Capture Contact Data – all three, every time
  6. Create Dialog versus Monolog – ask open-ended questions – talk with your guests, not at them
  7. Build Rapport – create engagement with your guests for a memorable, positive experience
  8. Listen and Tailor your Pitch – listen to your guests and change your offer to best meet their needs
  9. Sell your Unique Brand Story – what are your guests going to remember about your brand?
  10. Implement your Lessons – Once you’ve gotten feedback from mystery shopping, make the changes you can and measure your success over time.

Embrace these lessons learned whether or not you chose to ever employ mystery shopping for your tasting room. You can be guaranteed results to your tasting-room sales bottom line with the smallest changes using these lessons.