By: Michael Reifeiss, Owner, Aall in Limo & Party Bus
As a wine tour operator and driver, sometimes I can’t help but hear certain things that would make a great feedback for the wineries, but, for whatever reasons, people restrain themselves from expressing. When it comes to running a successful winery, I’ve come to realize that there’s more to it than just having a gorgeous vineyard and a high quality wine. There are many top-notch wineries out there who struggle, or their prosperity or ratings does not reflect their wine quality. Customers are not just interested in your wine manufacturing process, or enjoying a good quality wine. They want value from that experience. They want to remember it. They want to be able to share and talk about that experience.
First things first, you should practice diversity and treat every customer as an individual. People like to think they’re unique and they sure love it when you go the extra mile to meet their specific needs. That being said, not all your customers will be able to afford the same package you’re offering, or interested in it for that matter. Think about introducing packages for couples, families, large groups, packages for specific events like weddings and be open to customization based on their needs.
Unforgettable Tour Experience
In the end, the wine tasting experience is what matters the most. I often hear people complaining that the customer service was subpar, or not what they expected. This is a pretty big deal for your customers because, in the end, this is what makes them come back, or drives them away. This starts with a genuine desire to help your costumers have a great experience, you have to think beyond selling a product. Your costumers are not there just for a glass of wine. You should makes sure all your staff knows your wine and services inside-out and that they are ready to answer and resolve any queries. A non-responsive staff is the easiest way to drive your customers away.
Most of the time, people talk in the limo about the wines they tried. What they enjoyed, what they didn’t, their personal opinion on what it was like, etc. As such, when a customer shows interest in a particular wine, make sure you provide them all the details about that wine, so that they will be able to share their experience accurately while having all the needed information.
Know Your Customers
Every winery has their loyal customers. Make sure your staff remembers these customers. Remember their name, previous conversations and recommendations, make a personal connection. Have your staff take notes if they have to. People appreciate this kind of personal interest.
The Manufacturing Process
Your grapes do not magically turn into wine. Make sure you show the entire facility and winemaking process to your guests. A lot of people find these details particularly interesting. Most likely, there will be something that catches their attention in particular and they will want to share it back home.
It is important to provide your guests with a complete experience. From wine-tasting services, to meals, pairing recommendations, accommodation, all while going the extra mile to make sure that your customers have a great time. Your guests will appreciate it and it’s more likely that they will revisit and recommend your winery to their friends.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Make it easy for your customers to leave feedback and use that information wisely to improve your services. If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, how can you fix it? I’ve heard way too many complaints from people saying they weren’t offered an easy way to leave feedback, or even worse, they weren’t given any attention and got ignored. Listen to your customers and make them feel like they are special, like they are a part of your winery, not just someone passing through.