OUTBOUND TELESALES AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
We love to sell wine! The majority of our calls are outbound, using lists provided by our winery partners who gather that data from tasting room information cards, online orders and current and former wine club members. Our objective is to sell wine on each call we make and we call customers as an extension of the actual winery itself. The phone rings at the customer’s home and says “XYZ WINERY” on the telephone’s caller ID. The customer answers and hears “Hi this is Jeff with XYZ Winery. We’re calling our wine club members today to…”
We also provide key customer service functions (updating address, credit cards, tracking wine club shipments, etc.) with the goal of making incremental sales while resolving customer service issues. We focus on building long-term customer relationships by providing a brand experience of unparalleled quality for our partners’ customers. Our internal “Do Not Call” rate is 0.5% (1 out of 200 actual conversations) across all brands. Customers either buy something or give us their permission to be called in the future 99.5% of the time. Take a look at our “Resources/Downloads & White Papers” page for in-depth analysis on several aspects of the DTC phone sales channel. Much of what we’ve learned will surprise you – this truly is an incremental sales channel that is completely additive to your existing DTC sales efforts.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is this really a strategy we should be using to sell wine directly to consumers?
Selling wine over the phone is the most under-utilized channel in the direct to consumer business. Unlike the major discount houses, we build brand equity by selling the brand, not the discount. We focus our efforts on your core demographic wine buyers who appreciate the personalized attention we give to them to create long-term relationships. By having real conversations with your customers, we offer a pleasant and well-received addition to your tasting room experience and other marketing efforts.
I hate telemarketers. Why would our customers like this?
SO DO WE!!!! By being your brand ambassador and helping your customer relive their experiences in wine country, our in-house Do Not Call rate is 1 in 200 conversations or .05%. Your customers will enjoy talking to people who truly care about their wine likes & buying habits. We are an extension of your tasting room experience.
How can we trust you with our customer list?
We know that your customer list was built through good will and great expense. We protect your customer data through a multi-pronged approach. On the technology side, we are a PCI compliant company and have built protections in our system to make sure there can be no cross pollination of data. On the personal side, all reps sign NDA’s and go through extensive training on how important your customer data is and the repercussions of any misstep. In addition, we have the only real-time FCC compliant solution for using the telephone to call your customers. This includes checking the national DNC list and national cell-phone list for telephone numbers that cannot be called.
How much do you discount?
The word “discount” is not used in our conversations. Ever. “We sell wine, NOT discounts!!” is our company slogan. Instead, we use incentives to get people to do things they wouldn’t normally do, like buying full case instead of 6 bottles, or even buying a second case instead of just one. Our sales tools that enable larger purchases are a win-win for everyone.
What incentives work?
We have found that the real hot button for many consumers is shipping charges. We have a number of solutions for this issue and use shipping incentives in very creative ways. For other customers, bottle pricing is what matter most. For these customers, we recommend offering a case incentive to help them lower the average bottle price.
My wine club members are special. I don’t want you to call them.
We recognize that wine club memberships are the KPI for most of the wineries we work with. Because of this, only our most senior sales representatives will be in contact with your wine club members. We have become so proficient in working with wine club members that we launched the Wine Club Retention Program, which is a focused effort to lower attrition and build loyal lifetime members. For one client, we reduced wine club attrition from 35% to 11% in just 18 months. Our wine club focus and attention to this important customer segment resulted in signing up over 3,500 new wine club memberships over the phone in 2013.