Assessing Customer Experiences

Last week this blog delved into statistics regarding customers who may have had a less than stellar experience when they visited your business. We discovered that the percentage of customers that you think were satisfied with their visit was not necessarily in line with the number of customers who actually were satisfied.

Also, we learned that only a small percentage of dissatisfied customers take the time to complain. The rest just don’t return.

After publication of this blog, I received an email from one reader regarding the best ways to contact customers. He was concerned that calling people may be intrusive and they may not be comfortable telling you what they really think. Good point and one that is raised regularly during seminars and conference sessions.

The first thing to do is to ask customers how they would like to be contacted. Would they be open to a phone call or prefer to be contacted via email, text or mail. How customers prefer to be contacted many times has to do with their generation. Text is the favorite for Millennials and younger people, while some Gen X or Boomers may prefer email or even mail. Step one is always to identify the wishes of individual customers.

If you don’t have this information on your individual customer records, procuring the information gives you a reason to call your regular customers and double check. Most of your regular customers are not going to mind an occasional phone call. In fact, in many cases it is going to strengthen your relationship with these customers as you are initiating a more personal interaction. While you are on the phone and the opportunity presents itself, this is a great time to tell the customer of any exciting opportunities to purchase. Remember that these people are regular customers because they like you and your products.

Once you have the information on how they want to be contacted, make sure you have the address or phone number in order to follow up. Also get their agreement (in writing) with a follow up email that you as them to sign and return.

Your consideration for how your customers wish to be contacted will just deepen the relationship you have with them and they will appreciate the courtesy.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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Progressive Engagement

Engaging visitors in the winery or any other retail business is a sequence that goes through various stages, with the result that visitors feel comfortable and welcome.

Engagement takes you and your visitors through a series of steps that allow you to

Connect • Inform • Entertain • Share the whole experience with your visitors.

CONNECT

Make that immediate and visceral connection with visitors as they walk through the door. Find a way to acknowledge them immediately, always with eye contact and a smile. If possible, interact verbally. If you are unable to speak to them as you are engaged with other visitors, eye contact and a nod or wave.

INFORM

This part is very important: not only do you inform them about your products, but you allow them to inform you about their wants, needs and desires. Once they have done that, you will have the tools you need to present your products in ways that they will appreciate. Be sure your information contains ways that differentiate your products from those of other businesses.

ENTERTAIN

If you can, entertain your visitors, making them laugh, which helps people open up and therefore more easily internalize the information. Or give them factoids they were not aware of, that they can then tell others. You will create reasons for them to remember your brand and to talk about it to their friends and family.

SHARE

Share information with them in ways that make them feel as if they are getting something special. Tell a story about the winemaker or how the grapes were grown.

Sharing is a great way to sell, as it draws visitors into the stories about your products.

If you engage your visitors with sincerity and a desire to be interesting and entertaining, the visitors will leave felling passionate about your product. They will wonder how they ever lived without your product and take memories with them when they leave. They will feel pride in the product they have purchased and feel confident that your product is a name they can trust. They will also buy it again.

Go through these steps every time the visitor (now a customer) comes to the winery, to continue to enhance the connection and solidify the engagement.

A tip of the glass from me to you!