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June 22, 2007 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | WineDirect Admin

No More Wine Site “Users”

“User” is a technical term describing any entity that interacts with a piece of software or a website but it doesn’t speak to what wineries want to acheive on the web. As many have pointed out the only other group of people we refer to as “users” are drug addicts. So the term hardly connotes the respect that those who go to wine websites deserve. If we do away with the user, what word should we use instead? I have two suggestions.

Be Our Guest
The wine industry is in many ways a hospitality business. So why not think of your website users as guests just as you would those who visit your winery or sample your wine in a tasting room? Focusing on guests may change how we think about the goals of a wine website. You want to make your guests feel at home so ease of use is crucial. You also want to be perceived as a good host so it’s important to express some personality in the content of the site, but not so as to make your guest uncomfortable. So now the person browsing the site feels comfortable and taken care of, what then? This leads to my second suggestion.

They’re Always Right
Those who come to a wine website are also customers. They may be there specifically to buy wine online or they may just be finding out about a wine in preparation for a future purchase. Either way they are just as much a customer as if they were standing at your tasting room’s cash register. So how should you treat customers online? Make sure that products are accessible and clearly labeled with plenty of relevant information, make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they’re looking for and make a purchase, and maintain relationships to encourage repeat customers.

I Am Not a Number
Users are faceless, just numbers on a page of statistics. Designing, developing or maintaining a website for users is difficult but focusing on guests and customers helps guide what a website should be doing and how it should be doing it. So what are you doing for your guests? How are you satisfying your customers?

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