DTC Winery Teams: Are you talking to your loyal customers?

According to Bain & Company, attracting a new customer costs your business six to seven times more than retaining an existing one. The Small Business Administration reports that 68% of customers leave brands because they are upset with the treatment they’ve received. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated, according to McKinskey.

Wine producers are selling direct to consumer in the most competitive time in history with over 9,000 wineries in the US seeking the attention of wine enthusiasts and collectors. Conversion to club from a first-time tasting room visit ranges between 7 and 20% based on latest studies from Silicon Valley Bank on Wine as well as analysis across DTC Wine Workshops client datasets nationally. At best, wine club manager are retaining 86% of members annually with a 14% churn rate. So how can direct to consumer winery teams better retain loyal club members and repeat brand loyalists? Call them! We don’t love getting calls from the dentist or insurance agency but we sure love to hear from a wine brand we admire.

Setting up a new telesales division at the winery doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, resources and budget to effectively establish a telesales division and the path isn’t always clear. Many large producers outsource telesales and customer care efforts to businesses such as VinoPro, TeleWine Group and Chatterbox Marketing. With the right budget and effort to oversee an outsourced call campaign program, large producers are experiencing significant return on investment (ROI) by outsourcing telesales efforts. Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops, published a DTC Wine Case Study Video featuring Duckhorn Vineyards and WineDirect Outbound Services in July, 2015 in which the true return on investment of calling loyal customers is revealed.

So, how does a small to mid-size wine producer establish a telesales division?

  1. First, the direct to consumer sales and marketing teams need to get together to define call campaign goals and expected outcomes. This may require some time spent digging into data to uncover information around buying trends, reengagement trends, buying channels, email marketing success, etc. Once data analysis is completed, an annual call campaign schedule needs to be established to identify when “customer retention” call campaigns will take place verses “invitation to engage/buy” call campaigns. When scheduling call campaigns, it is important to be mindful of customers time and not call too many times in any given year.
  2. Second, a dedicated point of contact needs to be assigned to oversee the newly formed telesales team to ensure success.
  3. Third staff needs to get assigned to share the load by dividing call lists to make best use of time.
  4. Fourth, staff needs to be trained on how to effectively prepare for call campaigns, how to define key call messages, how to leverage CRM profiles and order management tools to assist members and loyal customers over the phone, how to adhere to telesales laws and how to record results of the call for easy tracking around efforts and return on investment.
  5. Finally, the telesales division lead needs to monitor results, prepare monthly reports and analysis to then share with the stakeholders. Cleary defining measures of success early on is critical in understanding the true ROI of launching a telesales division.

DTC Wine Workshops consulting agency has assisted a variety of winery teams across the nation with setup of in-house telesales divisions to better retain members and reengage with repeat direct customers. A new “Telesales Webinar” program is launching on February 22nd at 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. PST and the webinar will be repeated on March 20th and April 26th. Winery teams interested in learning more about the webinar series can visit: Direct Wine Telesales Webinar Series.

Winery teams across the nation are implemented proven direct sales and marketing methodologies from DTC Wine Workshops to better retain loyal customers and grow direct sales. Here are a few remarks:

“Sandra – thank you so much for yesterday’s presentation and discussion. The content was very relevant and timely, as well as engaging and very helpful.” – Kelly Harden, Loyalty & Membership Manager, Quintessa

“It’s rare when you find a webinar series that is this inspiring. Sandra has put together a clear, informative, and creative series that gives me tons of fun new ideas. Our winery’s marketing and web presence has improved with each month’s presentation. Thanks for all the great ideas and information Sandra!” – Kielly Lewis, DTC Manager, Foxen Vineyard.




About Sandra Hess

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network is a public speaker on the subject of direct to consumer wine sales and customer retention in the US.