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This past week at the Wine Marketing & Tourism conference we
had the change to listen to a panel of speakers talking about wineries
can get in front of those in the Concierge industry. ]
Notes from the Q&A with professional wine concierge individuals
and strategists. Keep in mind that this information paraphrased based on
what I heard and the context of the Q&A session.
Christine: It’s difficult right now because the concierge industry is
dealing with wineries and activities companies that are somewhat
self-serving. The element of discovery is removed when you have a pay to
Colby: a common problem that wineries face is that a concierge comes
and visits, but then they never send any customers. But that’s part of
matching the right person to the right experience. The Win-Win theory is
at play here, with a good guest experience, they will share with their
Colby: The guest experience is paramount – paying attention to the
guest experience means that that guest gives good feedback, which feeds
more visitors from a concierge. It’s the wineries job to get everyone
Maggie: It’s a relationship between the concierge and wineries –
there’s a trust factor that if I send guests to you, that you will take
care of them. We want to know the new experiences that are happening at
wineries, along the way, we build relationships with wineries. We’re
interested in seeing how you speak with people and seeing what the
personality of the property is like. Staff turnover tends to show a
problem, so seeing different people all of the time at a winery is a
Christine: Building trust through google customer service is
important, and high turnover is a feature of good or bad customer
service. I spend time with my guests before they leave me, so that I
know what type of experience they want.
Colby: Give me a call if something outside of the normal way of
operating happens, that way we know the situation and can provide that
feedback with the guest.
Christine: Guests will love that you took the time to follow up with them to ensure that they had a good experience.
Christine: When guests request that they want to have a too unique of
an experience, such as 8 people having dinner in a cave. When you let
people know that the experience tends to be a private event, they are
disappointed. Wineries also are dealing with people wanting to have
dinner at the winery. One great idea is to have a winery send special
wine to your hotel, to have along with dinner.
Maggie: Pricing special experiences and tastings is a critical change
that needs to happen. Dinner pricing and tasting pricing is getting
high, and it’s causing the experience to be more limited. People are
doing 2 of 5 tastings instead of 5 of 5 due to prices.
Christine: Pricing needs to be in the $60-$85 range. Above that,
wineries need to have something special that is being experienced by the
guest. A tasting in a small group setting can be a premium.
Maggie: Most of my guests are 2nd time visitors, they see
the value in having someone be able to find the right winery experience
and wine taste that fits for their group.
Colby: when reaching out to a concierge, look for opportunities to
provide a relationship building gift or invite. Invite the concierge to
a special event or wine club event – this helps a lot! Some wineries
have said to me, when we have an event coming up with our club member –
if you have someone that you have vetted that fits in, and I will try to
include them in our special day for our club members. The benefit for a
winery that does this, is that the new visitor will be surrounded by
your brand loyalists.
Christine: It’s wonderful when a winery calls me up to confirm a wine
event or tasting for the next day. I have to confirm this information
for my guests and it’s wonderful if they are being proactive – that’s a
relationship building activity.
Colby: Consider different activities to get people onto the property –
like Yoga! It’s growing as a thing to do in the winery experience. Of
course, horseback riding is an opportunity too.
Christine: Make the activities about having some downtime with the
guests, they need it. We try to educate people on the geography of the
area, make sure to drink water all day, setting the right expectations
and how to have a good time in wine country.
Work with the VRBO and Airbnb owners so that you can get into the
list of the things to do. Guests really do listen to the suggestions
that lodging locations make.