- Silent Selling
Increase Customer Satisfaction, Increase Sales.
Our research at WISE, especially emphasized by our 1,500+ mystery shops in tasting rooms, shows that when a guest has a great experience (the customer satisfaction is high), then they are more likely to purchase. In a nutshell, the better the guest experience, the greater potential for sales. Sounds easy, right? All we have to do is provide a good time and we’ll get sales. As you know, there are a lot of things we need to do to make our guest experiences flawless.
Behind the Scenes – Front Stage vs. Backstage
At WISE, we often talk about the Disney concept of “Everything Speaks” – a concept that suggests that service is manifested everywhere your organization touches the customer. These touch points affect the customers’ perception of your brand and puts them in a mood or a frame of mind that can affect their experience at your winery, tap room, or retail space. Every minor detail within these touch points says something about you or your brand to your guests – ‘everything speaks.’
Another concept we often talk about at WISE is Front Stage versus Backstage. Think of the guest experience as a theatrical production. When guests arrive, the curtains go up, and you, your company, and your whole team are on stage. As the term implies, Front Stage actions are visible to the ‘audience’ and are part of the ‘performance.’ Front Stage activities are customer-facing – everything the customer sees, hears and experiences at one of your company touch points, such as in your tasting room on a tour, or online.
Backstage activities are our back-of-the-house functions that are required to make a great performance happen. For example, a server in a tasting room is likely to communicate one way in front of customers but might be much more casual in the cellar or break room. It is likely that he or she does things “backstage” that should never be part of the guest experience.
When something goes wrong in our guest experience, it’s usually because something in our backstage needs adjusting. Are tasting menus on display or are they on hidden behind the bar? Is the bathroom spotless, glasses polished, parking lot clear of debris? Is our POS system providing a flawless check out process? And innocent mistakes are often made in front of guests such as inappropriate staff discussions. For example: Who is on lunch? Johnny never buffs the glasses! Is Sally having a bad day again?
Seemingly small details (or touch points) can make a big difference. These details convey ideas about the organization to the customer. Make sure each touch point is inherent of the level of service and brand reflection you wish to provide – this requires meticulous planning and execution. Make sure your backstage is in place to help support the Front Stage activities. One way to help make your Front Stage is flawless is creating a Guest Journey Map.
Create a Customer Journey Map
Some say the quality and impact of the experiences you offer your guests matter more these days than having a best-in-class craft beverage. Everything matters – from the moment our guests drive onto the property until they leave. Successful craft beverage companies actually choreograph this guest journey experience.
For a memorable guest experience and a positive reflection of your brand, you have to step back and literally look at the path the guests take from the moment they approach your property through the tasting experience from a fresh, consumer point of view. Creating this path or map is called a Customer Journey Map, and choreographing it to match your goals requires reassessing the way your business is structured, functions and builds relationships with your customers.
Documenting (or mapping) the guest experience from your customer’s point of view helps to understand not only how customers interact with your brand today, but also identifies improvement opportunities. The documentation provides a visual representation of how your guests experience your brand and product as well as how potential customers go through the shopping process. Customer journey mapping acts like a mirror and enables you to question why you do the things you do. It makes things visible, which might have been right in front of you, but were so familiar you did not notice them or question them.
To begin documenting the guest’s journey, take a close look at a guest’s functional and emotional needs across all aspects of the craft beverage experience, from becoming aware of your brand, making an appointment, arriving, taking a tour, tasting the product, checking out, and returning. This helps get a deeper insight into your customer needs, perception, experience and motivation. Consider your goals for your guests – whether you want to encourage sales, represent your brand, tell a memorable story, etc. – and then ensure each touch point meets your goals.
Need a sample Journey Map to work from? Here You Go.
Because the purpose of the map is to come up with ideas and possible changes, don’t wait until the end of the exercise to collect ideas. Write down all ideas and insights as you map out your guest journey. Give a clear indication on where action is required and literally drive your guests’ eyes and mind to the key touch points. The visual representation of this is crucial – these insights will be a rich source for improvements and innovative ideas. There is no ‘right’ way to document this and there are plenty of examples and templates offered online. Find one that works best for you and your company.
Once you’ve walked the pathway of your guests, brainstorm ideas for improvement and for developing new experiences that are both outstanding and in sync with your guests’ needs. Ensure your ideas as well as the current status is in line with what your brand stands for and what your goals are for each touch point.
Lastly, put your ideas into action. You may want to want to pare down your list to the top three or five ideas that not only have the power to create a “wow” guest experience but are also easy or less costly to implement. Remember, this is not static – it’s a loop where you will have to wash, rinse, and repeat to constantly keep improving your customers’ experience with your brand.
What do you need to do to choreograph a touch of WOW into your guest journey and experience with your brand? Don’t leave the quality of your service and experience to chance. Set the stage for success and give your customers a great experience at every touch point.
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