There are tons of ways to satisfy customers and one size definitely does not fit all. Different customers at different levels expect different things, especially in our industry.
I want to share a simple example I recently experienced. This summer my lovely bride of 31 years and counting took a trip to British Columbia, we had a wonderful time visiting wineries in the Osoyoos, Oliver area and then back up to Kelowna. Some golf, good food and unreal wine. The wine industry in this area is a very competitive market and in a tight area with over 100 vineyards with in a couple hours drive. Many are even closer and within 30 minutes. Needless to say there is stiff competition among these businesses.
During every stop along the way every person we dealt with during our tasting and visit asked us where we had been. I was very impressed that not once was there an ill word spoken about their competitors. As a matter of fact it was the opposite, it was quite refreshing. Each winery seemed to have something that made them special and unique, from people friendly dogs you could feed treats to full blown restaurants, bistros and special events. This is no different than some other parts of wine country we have visited.
What was different was the way the staff conducted themselves with those visiting. Every vineyard and every staff member was pleasant, welcoming, caring, knowledgeable with attention to detail. I was impressed by the attention these businesses paid to the customer service side. It is something we discuss constantly with our people and our customers. In our space we want to be the best at customer service and we work daily at it. It is something we’re known for.
So who ranked best in the Okanagan Valley for customer service? It was Platinum Bench Estate Winery and Artisan Bread Co. It wasn’t so much as what they did at the vineyard, the staff was excellent, the wine was top shelf, the family dog wandering around the tastings was all welcoming. The homemade bread they serve during the wine tasting was amazing. For me it was what happened after and upon our return home. It is not uncommon for people who visit the Okanagan Valley to ship wine home. It is quite reasonable and we were no different. We shipped home wine from two different vineyards, two of my favorites and both were great at the customer service experience when we were there. What put Platinum over the top was the hand written note in side of the box thanking us for taking the time to visit their winery and asking us to come back. A special touch, that took little time but was impressive.
With so much competition in every sector of our industry your company needs to pay high priority to customer service. For us here at KRTS – Our Core Value Is People and our customers feel our Quality, Service and Reputation.
At the end of the day take care of your customers or somebody else will. It can be something as simple as a thank you note that puts you over the top.