One of the greatest challenges for any online wine store is showing customer appreciation. Since customers are not visiting your winery directly in the tasting room, it is important to go above and beyond to show you appreciate their business and develop a personal relationship with them. Our white paper, "Creating a Great Customer Experience," points out that exhibiting customer appreciation is a crucial part of creating a positive experience that turns first-time customers into lifetime relationships for your business. Here are five ways wineries can show customer appreciation:
1. Engage with them on social media
Social media is an ideal platform for wineries to build relationships with both loyal and new customers. Social media platforms can be used to share information with followers or answer customer service inquires. Online wine stores can also engage with customers proactively on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Consider searching for people mentioning your winery and respond to them directly. This can go a long way in showing customer appreciation.
2. Surprise and delight your customers
Show appreciation and create a memorable experience by surprising and delighting your most loyal customers with unexpected contact. It can be as simple as a handwritten thank you note or a phone call.
3. Stay in touch
It sounds simple, but staying in touch with customers shows that you care. As noted in our white paper, however, staying in touch doesn't mean you should bombard your customers with offers. Instead, take the time to send a simple email to tell them you appreciate their business, or to ask them how they enjoyed the most recent varietal they tried. Wineries can also remember special days and reach out to customers on their anniversaries, birthdays and other important occasions.
4. Host customer appreciation days
Customer appreciation days are common practice for brick-and-mortar stores. However, online wine stores can also host customer appreciation days. For example, Banana Republic hosted an online event that offered 30 percent off full priced items. The coupon was sent directly to customers who subscribed to the brand's newsletter. With the right database, wineries can identify their most loyal customers and host a customer appreciation day that includes reduced shipping and discounts on select varietals.
5. Share knowledge
Wineries can make customers feel like VIPs by sharing knowledge and insights with them. Reward loyal customers by sharing exclusive tasting and pairing guides. This will show appreciation and empower customers to have a deeper understanding of your products.