The words you use to describe your clients are important.
Some people may dismiss the use of slightly different words such as customer or guest, service or engagement as just semantics. However the words you use influence the way you think and the way you may act towards the people who visit your winery.
Let’s start with the words customer and guest. The two definitions for a customer that I found in Dictionary.com are:
- a person who purchases goods or services from another
- a person one has to deal with
The definitions of the word guest in the same dictionary:
- a person who spend time at another’s home in some social activity, as a visit
- a person who receives the hospitality of a club…or the like
If you were visiting a winery, which would you prefer to be, a customer or a guest? Would you rather be “a person one has to deal with” or “a person who receives hospitality?”
Many people who come to wineries do so because they want to be a part of something they think of as exciting and fun. How many times in your winery have you heard guests say, “It must be great to own/work in a winery.” Considering those who make time to visit your winery as guests may encourage you to be more friendly and you may encourage them to buy and return often.
Moving on to the words service vs. engagement.
I have seen many tasting room staff members give good service without being particularly engaging or truly treating the person they are serving as a guest of the winery. These staff members can be helpful without being interested or efficient without being friendly.
Engagement tends more towards creating an affinity with the customer; a lasting connection and providing the best experience possible. While service fills a need to provide a product for the customer, it may not go that extra mile to create a feeling that as a guest the person is important to the company and to the staff member who is engaging with them.
Think of these and other words that you may use in your hospitality center that can be revised to create changes in the way you think of the people who visit your winery and how you treat them.
A tip of the glass from me to you.