Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,
Happy New Year!
I believe that the subject of this blog post is nothing new in our industry, or in any industry, but every time I see or experience a situation like this, I like to emphasize it, to make sure that everyone hears about it, learns from it, and tries to prevent it in their own business.
Those who follow my posts and blogs know how much I love wine and going to California wineries. To celebrate this New Year, like in other years, we spent time in Napa Valley. My husband and I love going to different wineries and learning as much as we can about wine. We are becoming good connoisseurs of wine and like learning about what we enjoy (we’re far from being experts or wine snobs, LOL!) We’ve built a good collection and enjoy drinking it with good friends and family.
When planning our trip to Napa we also plan the wineries we are going to visit. We prefer to go to boutique wineries where they have smaller production, and the people who talk to us are not salespeople, but wine experts. We had an awesome experience at Bremer Family Winery (by appointment only), Shadybrook State Winery (where we were lucky to be invited). We got such a treat from learning so much and the wine was incredibly delicious. It was the highlight of our trip.
We also had a very pleasant surprise with excellent service from bigger wineries like Round Pond, Peju, Caymus and Paraduxx. Because the service by the salespeople was so friendly, we ended up purchasing even more wine than we expected to buy, and look forward to recommending the experience to friends, family and even write about it on my blog.
However, we definitely had a disappointing experience as well. I want to make sure to mention this because it all had to do with service. Maybe their wine is even good. Maybe the owner does not even have a clue. But when I called Quintessa for a tasting, the person who answered their phones had the biggest chip on her shoulder! She told me that a tasting was $150 per person (most places are $45), no sharing tastings (most places don’t have a problem with that; one cup shared between two people, for those who do not want to drink so much, but want to taste a little bit – usually not heavy drinkers), and no discount on the tasting in exchange for purchasing (most wineries comp the price of the tasting after a certain amount of spending on the purchase of wine).
With over 400 wineries in Napa alone, we don’t need this kind of attitude from someone who doesn’t know us at all. We are not into drinking in Napa, we appreciate and collect good wines to share with people we love. We are into buying.
Companies who have bad service don’t care about building clientele. Most survive by volume. I believe in small, boutique service, and companies that surprise prospective clients with excellence in friendliness. How about you?
Cheers to a great 2020!
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