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Most businesses are focused on their products and wineries are no exception. Making and offering the very best products you can, should always be at the top of the list.

However, right underneath making the best products you can, should be meeting your guests and customers expectations.

Meeting expectations is a tricky thing as much of the time you don’t know what consumers are going to expect when they walk into your winery. Nor do individual sets of consumers want the same thing.

Additionally, not all hospitality employees take the time or have the time to ask visitors questions about what they want. Yet, if you want to satisfy people’s wants, needs and expectations it’s important that a little time is spend finding out who they are.

The value of communication

Communication at all levels is important in any business. What any company wants and expects from all its employees should be clearly defined in writing and given as part of the package when anyone is employed. This is especially important in the case of those people who are regularly interacting with guests.

  • Have a one-page sheet of basic information for staff members working with the public that focuses on connection and meeting expectations.
  • Remind them to first focus on the wants and needs of the customers rather than the product.
  • A training budget to regularly present more information to hospitality staff is also helpful.
  • Regular training once or twice per year.
  • Mystery shop to assess customer interaction.
  • Opportunity for staff to visit competitive wineries and assess their procedures.
  • Tasting fees paid upon staff member presenting a report.

Know whom you are dealing with

Be aware that the needs and wants of the first-time visitor may be very different from those of long-term customers. First time guests may need more guidance and more encouragement to rely on their own judgment; whereas, long-term customers want to be treated as friends and valued for their loyalty.

Next week’s blog will present more ideas on how to meet expectations.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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