It’s that time of year again. With Memorial Day behind us the busy season begins again. Visitor traffic will build each month from now through harvest. And if we are ready – really ready – more visitors will drive exponentially more sales through our tasting room. It’s the time to create lots of new long-term relationships. It’s time to shine.
Here is our Top Ten checklist to prepare handling the crowds, create lasting memories for guests, and capitalize on the potential dollars walking in the tasting room doors.
- Staff Up. Think in terms of number of guests per labor hour, to not only staff up for the busy season but to adjust even higher for busy weekends. Justify more tasting room labor hours by understanding at what service level our wine sales and club sign-ups are optimized and then staff accordingly. The balance of guest to staff ratio is an important fine line.
- Revise the Guest Journey Map. Fine-tuned guest experiences by mapping your guests’ journey through each experience offered at the winery. Choreograph it to match your goals.
- Revisit Visual Merchandising. Remember, our tasting room is the mirror to our brand. Ensure the merchandising tells a story that reinforces the desired brand image.
- Motivate with Metrics & Compensation. Do you have a DTC Dashboard that measures what matters? Do you share key numbers with your team – all those that impact the results? Are your bonus programs creating effective goal congruence between your team and desired performance?
- Schedule Some Mystery Shopping. Get an objective view on the things that can be easily adjusted to make the experiences even better and increase customer satisfaction and sales before the height of the season.
- Tailor Training. Use metrics and mystery shopping results to prioritize how and where your team can benefit by some best practices tune ups. Training needs should be tailored to both your team and by individuals as needed.
- Build Front Stage vs. Backstage Awareness. Everything needs to be in place and prepared behind the scenes for a fabulous performance or guest experience. Encourage your team to get in the habit of debriefing daily with the questions – where was a backstage showing today?
- Embrace the Platinum Rule. All guests are not created equal. Along the Buyers Continuum we find that First Time Buyers thrive on recognition. Repeat buyers expect us to understand their preferences. Brand ambassadors revel in respect and rewards. Giving them what they need will encourage them to want to buy. No matter what their relationship is with our brand, there are many different types of wine buyers, with different needs. The key to the Platinum Rule is to treat customers as they want to be treated, so first we need to figure how it is they want to be treated by asking open-ended questions, and then deliver it.
- Encourage More Dialogue, Less Monologue. Keep in mind that the right open-ended questions build rapport and dialog creates a relationship. Relationships build brands and trust. Trust means sales and long term commitments.
- Focus on the full WISE Triple Score. Sell wine, sell clubs and capture contact data – all by planting seeds throughout the conversation. Do all three, every time, and in a natural way. Our customers will appreciate it and staff will respect what you inspect. So, be sure to monitor and reward based on all three aspects of the triple score.
And we’re off! Enjoy the run. Keep this checklist in mind. And shine, shine, shine!