The truth is for most venues, customer satisfaction is not quite enough anymore. Your customers are not only more sophisticated, they are more connected, they have higher expectations and many of them are accustomed to sharing their opinions online after their visit. So, how can you elevate the experience?
The first thing is to focus on getting the basics right. Do you have a training schedule set up? Can your staff talk about wine confidently to different types of visitors? Can they ask for the sale? Can they introduce the wine club into conversation without launching into a wordy sales pitch? Can they focus on the customer throughout the tasting? Is the tasting room clean, well set up, signed well and accessible for people with disabilities? Is there an offer available for people who are not tasting?
Once these factors are addressed,
1. Utilise a host in busy times // With people streaming in on the weekend, adding a host at the entrance is invaluable. The role of the host in this instance is to capture the curiosity of new visitors and turn it into delight. Your host can direct guests to wherever they need to be, answer questions, introduce the brand, entertain guests who might be waiting but most importantly, your host can offer a splash of wine on arrival. This type of gesture shows generosity, good will and a little luxury: all in all a great way to begin the experience.
2. Cater for kids // The arrival of a family should be met with complete gratitude. We know that travelling around with children has its challenges so anything you can do to assist will be met with delight. Can you set up a safe area for children to play? Offer a free drink for the kids? For older children and teenagers, welcome them to the tasting bar and include them in the discussion (of course they are not allowed to taste though!). Happy kids = happy parents, so see what you can come up with.
3. Educate, educate, educate! // Showing, rather than telling has immense value when trying to build rapport and trust with your visitors. Wine is complicated and for many, still a bit of mystery – so build some educational elements into your tasting. Can you offer two wines in comparison – perhaps an unfinished tank sample or a museum release? Can you introduce sensory perception ideas through the use of black glassware? Go through your list and brainstorm ideas – it makes the process of tasting so much more dynamic, and it makes you appear generous & hospitable.
4. Help plan their next stop // Recommending the next stop is a simple way to show true hospitality, and to go a step further, you can even offer to make a restaurant reservation on their behalf. This gives you an opportunity to learn the names of your visitors and shows immense good will that won’t be forgotten.
5. Carry their purchases to their car // So simple, so effective! Make sure to thank them and give directions to their next destination.