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The Merchant23 Blog

Maintaining and Growing A Customer Base

Aug 5, 2019 6:08:59 PM / by Cyrus Azari

Wine sales and maintaining a customer base

Growing and maintaining a brand is a sizable feat. For a brand to grow, you are going to need more customers! Here are the four things you can do to keep developing and maintaining, those customers.

 

(Shameless plug: I also wrote about nine free ways to advertise, so if you want to reach a broad audience asap, check this out.) 

 

Provide Solid Customer Service

 

60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service. That's a lot of preventable churn! Retaining customers is just as important as getting new customers. So what can you do?

 

Start with making sure that their complaint or issue is responded to immediately by you or your staff. Don't be negligent with handling a complaining customer; in fact, think of them as an opportunity to help improve your business. Listen intently to their complaint, and make sure to take steps to prevent it from ever happening again, if possible. 

 

Customer service = customer retention. Studies have shown that 67% of churn can be prevented if you address the issue in the first engagement. Don't neglect your customer service! It is imperative to make sure it is stellar if you plan on growing your brand. 

 

Encourage Word of Mouth 

 

The alcohol industry is surprisingly small. Leverage that! 

 

If your wine is on an on-premise account, see if they can put in a good word for you with another restaurant, or make an introduction for you. (Same will apply to off-premise too)

 

Customers hearing one of their friends make a recommendation can inspire action. 

 

If you're not particularly well connected, then the next best thing is to get reviews. 91% of consumers weigh online reviews and personal recommendations in the same way. That's huge for potential wine sales! 

 

Adopt A Customer Relationship Manager

 

If you take anything away from this list, let this be it. If you don't have a customer relationship manager (CRM), stop right now and go to HubSpot or ZoHo and download one right away. 

 

As someone who has run a winery before, let me tell you why a CRM is the best thing since sliced bread. 

 

  1. It functions as a giant Rolodex that can never get lost or have crappy handwriting
  2. It's a fantastic way to keep track of wine club members (or spirit club, beer club, etc.) 
  3. They often have a "pipeline" feature, which allows you to keep track of where you are in a sales cycle with wholesale wine sales. 
  4. Keep track of all customers, allowing you to re-target them with offers at a later date.

 

I can keep going on and on, but the point is that a CRM helps simplify your paperwork and helps give you a better grasp on your business. Advanced features can help track website visits and send an email, among other things. 

 

Collect Feedback

 

If customers are anything, its honest about their experiences. If its 2 minutes to midnight, and you need customers, look at your positive and negative reviews. Positive reviews tell you what to do more of, what customers like about you - double down on it! 

 

You can also use companies like Zendesk or SurveyMonkey to send surveys to customers and drill down on what problems you need to fix in your company. 

 

The negative shows you how you are losing customers and not retaining them. Retaining a customer is 5x cheaper than gaining a new one. Creating a loyal cohort of customers is essential. If you do it well enough, you might even make them lifelong customers!

 

There you go! I hope you incorporate some of these suggestions; they can help out your business. Keeping your current customers bleeds into getting new ones because people tend to stay with companies they love. I

 

If you're still looking for more suggestions, I would suggest going winery direct across the nation. We wrote an seller's guide on how to get started on our website. (its free) 

Seller's Guide-Winery Direct-Merchant23

Topics: Winery Sales customer wine sales CRM customer relationship manager

Written by Cyrus Azari

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