You are amazing! Managing a wine club is not an easy task and you are doing a great job and your bosses, those hundred, if not thousands of wine club members think so too. Every day you navigate the slippery slope of providing a top notch experience for you members, offering them perks and benefits, while making sure the integrity of your winery remains untarnished and sparkling like the gem it is. Your job is not easy, but you make it look easy to everyone that comes in contact with you.

But, like everything in life there is always room for improvement, opportunities to grow and new ways to run your wine club more efficiently than ever before. This Tough-Love Tuesday, we have a few suggestions we think you should put in your wine club management tool box so that you can take managing your club to the next level.

1. Take the time to learn and use the POS system. Most wine club managers are knee-deep in customer service and account maintenance in the back office and rarely get the opportunity to be in the Tasting Room, much less use the POS system. But your Tasting Room sales staff is utilizing the system daily to not only ring up purchases, but to assist members with account updates, register them for events and assist in utilizing their member benefits. Understanding what they see and use on the front end will help you assist your Tasting Room staff when a question or issue arises.

2. Understand the way payment processing works and know how to look up credit card charges. If a member calls inquiring of a possible incorrect charge, you should be able to not only look at their club account to view payment history, but if necessary, you should also have access to your Payment Gateway or Merchant Service Provider (MSP) account to double-check the transaction.

Being able to locate this information quickly and efficiently makes you look like the rock star you are. So make sure you have login credentials to both your Payment Gateway and MSP.

3. Increase your communication. Communicating with your members is just the beginning.
*Make sure you are frequently touching base with your Tasting Room Manager about wine club events, processing dates, specials and sales so they can pass this information on to the serving staff.

*Talk often with your Inventory Management team because there is nothing worse than releasing a wine that you don’t have enough of.

*Your warehouse manager should be your best friend so you can work together to make sure you have staff ready to pack out the shipments as well as ensure each wine club shipments contain all the right packaging materials and are leaving your facility on-time.

4. Create and distribute a Wine Club Plan to your winery’s management team. Everyone needs to know what is happening with the wine club and the only way to make sure everyone is on the same page is to have a well thought out calendar of events. Planning a year in advance is ideal, but at the very least you should know what your next 6 months look like. Your calendar should show wine release dates, billing dates, shipping dates, wine club pick up parties, special events, and any member sales or promotions. Keep the calendar updated and share it with all the winery managers and Tasting Room staff.

5. Stay ahead of the curve. Stay sharp by always learning and keeping your wine club procedures up to date. Attend DTC webinars, read industry articles, attend seminars or panels to learn as much as you can about our ever-changing industry. Then share this knowledge with other staff. In order to stay ahead, knowledge is essential.