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What Is Customer Service?

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After having some customer service problems with large and small companies of late, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog on customer service. Rather than start the piece by complaining about a company I have been unsuccessfully dealing with for the past six months to resolve a problem, I thought I would start with a definition of customer service and typed into Google: “What Is Customer Service?”

The definition that appeared surprised me. Here is the definition: “Customer service is the direct one-on-one interaction between a consumer making a purchase and a representative of the company that is selling it”

The part that surprised me was the specification of a customer “making a purchase…” rather than “any interaction between every member of the public visiting your place of business.”

When a first-time guest comes into your winery, you have no idea whether they will buy something from you or not. If you wait to create a rapport with them until you find out that they are going to purchase wine from you towards the end of the visit, you may not have the time to create the atmosphere that will make them want to purchase.

There are many times that people out wine tasting will go into a winery with no intention of making a purchase. They may have just been to a winery down the road and decided to stop into your winery because it is close.

When they come in your winery and meet cheerful and receptive employees, they are more likely to listen to what they have to say and purchase from them. The sooner you can make people feel welcome the more chance you have of making them regular customers, entice them to purchase wine or join your wine club.

Take time to listen to these guests and discover what type of relationship they want with you and your winery.

  • Are they looking for great wines that their friends don’t know about?
  • Are they people who know a lot about wine and want to tell you what they know?
  • Are they new to tasting wine and need information?
  • Do they feel comfortable coming into wineries or are they intimidated?

Customer service starts the second they drive onto the property or walk into the tasting room. Make it easy for them to relax and feel welcome…immediately. You don’t know who will become you next “best customer” so treat everyone as if they already are.

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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