A few weeks ago I planned a trip to the wineries out here on Long Island. The idea came to me when I won this awesome raffle prize at a fundraiser. I consisted of a few wine tours, a couple of dinner gift certificates and other wine paraphernalia. So I got a group of 14 of my friends and started planning a fun-filled day during the Winter Festival, including a limo to drive us from winery to winery. We wanted to keep it to 6 or 7 hours and we are about an hour drive from the east end where the wineries are located, so we decided 3 stops would be perfect to allow for a decent amount of time at each. I chose the wineries based on those that offered the best deals and would also accept my gift certificates, as well as the music they had for that day.
Needless to say, the festivities started with mimosas in the limo and everyone was in a great mood by the time we got to the first winery. It happened to be St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and the guy playing the guitar was mixing in some good old Irish songs, which for this group was a big plus. We pulled some tables together and enjoyed our first stop. The wine was very good.
The last place we went to was by far the nicest atmosphere. It was an old mansion with 3 or four bar areas for tastings, and a fabulous band. They also served beer, which was a big attraction for some who were wined out.
But let’s get back to the second place. I was actually a little leery about choosing this one because it was very small, they were a little sketchy about the type of music they were having that day, but they said they would honor the gift certificate and it was the biggest bang for our buck. I was already putting out my disclaimers about how I wasn’t really sure about this place, when someone opened up our limo door and welcomed us in individually with an umbrella to shield us from the horribly rainy day I forgot to mention. It wasn’t a terribly fancy place, as a matter of fact; they lead us to a covered porch area with pretty uncomfortable picnic tables. But there on the table there was a big sign that said, Friends of Abbe Meehan. Everyone started saying how important we must be with this big table reserved for us. Then our waiter came over and told us all about the wines there and set us up for a private tasting of 3 selections. It was actually kind of cold out there, but nobody seemed to mind. Especially when another waitress brought over a huge platter of corned beef and cabbage sandwiches on the house.
So why save this uncomfortable, cold, mediocre winery to discuss last? Because this is the winery everyone raved about on the ride home. The wine was really no better, the music wasn’t even really good, but the customer service was so outstanding, so different than any of the other wineries, even on this hectic, rainy day during Winter Fest.
It reminded me about all the little things we can do in our jobs to make people want to continue doing business with us. The umbrella to keep us dry, the personalized name handwritten on a piece of paper on the table, and oh those corned beef sandwiches. Nothing really cost much, if anything, yet it had such an amazing impact on all of us.
What little things can you do for your internal and external customers that can have that kind of impact?
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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