At the end of March, Jayne and I had the opportunity of getting out for a small road trip to some areas of NSW that we had not visited before.

It’s funny that with all the travel we’ve done over the past decade, we have done very little travel in our own backyard.

During our week away Jayne and I were able to visit nine winery cellar doors and also two gin distilleries. And just for the record, we purchased at each of these eleven establishments.

Let me tell you about the most disappointing cellar door “experience” we had, which occurred on our final day of tasting.

On each of our three days of tasting, Jayne and I had tried to visit three wineries, and on this final day, we ran into a little bit of a problem.

The problem was that the third cellar door that we had chosen to visit had closed for the day at 4:00pm [we arrived at4:05pm], and Jayne and I had mistakenly thought that it was actually going to close at 5:00pm.

No big deal, really…. It was our error.

Plan B.

Our plan B was to see if there was another cellar door nearby that traded until 5:00pm, and fortunately for us there was, so off we headed to our “plan B” vineyard where we arrived at 4:17pm.

This vineyard had the most spectacular hillside setting, and the cellar door tasting facility had been specifically built to capture the wonderful vistas from this grand hillside aspect.

When we arrived, there were two female staff working the cellar door, and there was also another male employee lurking around [who could well have been the winemaker].

We were greeted by one of the female employees, who was “free” as the other female employee was serving two small groups of tasters who were seated outside the tasting room full glass floor-to-ceiling windows on the patio verandah area outside.

The employee who greeted us asked us to sit at the bar area counter, with our backs to the view, despite the fact that there were high tables and chairs available right behind us that would have allowed us to ABSORB  and soak in the spectacular vista.

To its credit, the bar area did have a mirror as its backdrop wall, so Jayne and I were able to “enjoy” some view, in reverse, and with us in that picture, as you can imagine.

Once we were seated and provided with our first tasting glass, the female employee who had “greeted” us then organised with the other employee to take over our service while she, the first employee went about restocking and doing organisational things in front of us.

The “handover” process was really more a statement from the first employee to let the second employee know to serve us while she, the first employee, was then going to be doing these organisational duties in front of us, and around us, as we sampled the wines. And all the while that we were sampling the wines the first employee carried out her duties as if Jayne and I were invisible, with ZERO EYE CONTACT and zero conversation.

To her credit, the second employee did spend time with us and did help us to enjoy a number of very good wines.

But the first employee did make us feel that we were an “inconvenience”, and in the way, as she went about her end of day duties.

How are your business’s priorities?

I’m not sure whether employee one was following company policy and making sure that no end of day tasks were needed to be completed in an “after hours” overtime situation, or whether she was just in a hurry on this particular day?

But the impression that we received as customers and potential purchasers was that she would rather have NOT BEEN  serving customers.

And whether she was not trying to give that impression, or she was trying to, the fact that this was the impression we experienced is really the only thing that matters.

I hope for this vineyard, and for this employee, that the “experience” that we had as customers that afternoon is not a regular daily occurrence.

In your business..

In your business, are you putting up chairs onto tables, or vacuuming the carpets, while customers are still inside your establishment deciding on purchasing from you?

Are you turning the lights off in your store while customers are still inside?

[These three things did not occur at this particular cellar door. They are simply “other” examples of employees with misdirected priorities].

If your business does have employees displaying MISDIRECTED PRIORITIES around closing time, it might be time for you to take a closer look at your Customer Service and CX Experience protocols, because those misdirections could seriously be impacting the potential spend [and future purchases] of those late arriving and late departing customers.

And that damage done to the potential spend [and future purchases] of those customers can seriously impact your business’s sales figures, and its bottom line.


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business