Home Wine Business Editorial E Column Good Customer Service: It’s All About the Small Things

Good Customer Service: It’s All About the Small Things


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As we get closer to the upcoming holidays, you are going to see more winery visitors in the hospitality center. Wineries will experience more over the phone orders and more online orders.

However, as busy as it gets, visitors and callers should still get the best service you can give them. If those who are busy working with in-person guests, answering phone calls or confirming online orders keep in mind that buyers remember the small things you do.

Winery Greeter: A greeter at the front door is helpful during holiday weekends. They can explain the ropes and make visitors feel welcome. If there is no greeter, regularly look beyond the bar to smile at newcomers.

Three Second Pause: Before you move from one set of guests to another or pick up another phone call, take three seconds to take a couple of deep breaths and recalibrate to be ready for the next interaction.

Introduce Yourself: Even when the room is full of guests and you are feeling a little overwhelmed, always remember to introduce yourself. This prompts your guests to introduce themselves, which will greatly enhance the engagement and strengthen the connection the guests feel towards you and the winery.

Vary Your Presentation: Guests who have just walked up to the tasting bar may be listening to conversations you are having with guests you are currently serving. Repeating the same information will make your interaction seem canned rather than personal. A rote interaction will not make your guests or callers feel special or encourage them to listen.

Show Interest in Your Guests/Callers: Ask how you can help your guests (said with enthusiasm). Encourage a connection between you and the guests or callers. If you have spoken with them before, remind them of something you have talked about before. Or if you have talked about something more personal and it is appropriate to ask how things are going, do so. Establishing a connection leads to higher sales.

Make Guests Feel Special: While you are knee deep in guests at the tasting bar be sure to scan the crowds to spot any wine club members or regular customers. Make sure they see you acknowledging that you have seen them. Show them you are pleased to see them with a smile, a nod or a wave if you can manage it.

So, during the next couple of weeks, keep in mind the small things that will make customers feel welcome. Take lots of deep breaths and if you are behind the tasting bar bring an extra pair of shoes with you. We are much more cheerful when we are comfortable.

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.



  1. So glad th Wine Industry Advisor runs you frequently. It is always good to get these reminders. Happy Holidays!
    Paul Vandenberg
    Paradisos del Sol


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