Home Wine Business Editorial E Column Old & New Ways to Learn About Your Customers

Old & New Ways to Learn About Your Customers


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A month ago, at the WIN EXPO, a yearly event in Sonoma County, I was moderating a session: The Technology Impact on Wine Sales. The session dealt with the different uses of technology in the area of customer information. Not only does technology help us reach customers, it helps us reach them in the ways they want us to reach them, with the information they want, as well as the information we believe is important to them.

In short, it brings the right products to the right people. That is, of course, if we know the wants, needs, likes and dislikes of our customers as well as all the basic customer information.

There are lots of ways we can discover what our customers want and need and how to acquire the information through technology. We can check their customer records to see what wines they have purchased, when they usually purchase and in what quantities. We can send out email surveys and much more. You can use technology to access what individual customers respond to and what they don’t. It really is amazing what technology can do to improve our service and sales.

However, while employing technology to help you with your customer connections and building individual customer programs, there are other ways (some might say old-fashioned ways) to acquire information.

Your hospitality staff (the people who see your customers every day) are the recipients of more personal information about these customers whether they are first time visitors, regular customers or converts.

If your hospitality staff can make friends with the majority of the guests, they can strengthen the bonds of friendship through return visits, emails, etc. They can form long lasting relationships, making these customers part of the winery family.

Create incentive programs so your hospitality staff not only elicit this information from guests, they add what they learn to the customer record. The more you know about your customers to more you can individualize your contact with them.

More on this subject next week.

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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