One thing I hear often is” Nobody returned my phone call or email”. This comes from people who are on the Sip Happens Tour and from some I meet at the wineries who tried to get on a tour and got no response from the wine tour companies they contacted. They look longingly at the van and wish they were on it.
Last fall when I started thinking about operating a wine tour business, I called 3 of the first tour companies I came upon in my google search. The largest of these tour companies, with several tours scheduled each day and multiple vehicles never returned my call. The second company never returned my call and the 3rd one answered the phone and tried to accommodate me though I never did take a tour with them as the tour I wanted wasn’t running for a couple of weeks? Maybe it was because I was trying to book just 2 of us or maybe they are just too damn busy to bother with messages left. Either way, it was a frustrating experience. I wanted to do a wine tour before I started a wine tour company but it never happened. Isnt that ironic?
To say that I was spurred forward by the lack of customer service is an understatement. And so Sip Happens Wine Tour was born with or without a wine tour experience. If all it takes is to provide some engagement with potential customers, I could do that! When you’re a new company, Google search is not always your friend. Without spending big money on ad words or SEO, you find yourself on page 6 or lower. It seems the lack of customer response is working for me. More often than not, my customers say they go directly to the lower pages in hopes of finding someone to reach out to them. If the perception is the listings at the top are the busiest then the companies at the bottom are hungry for business. Right again.
I would say over half my bookings start out with the words ” well thank god somebody answers the phone or email”. This wine tour business is either so busy that other operators can’t find the time to respond to requests or they just don’t need the new bookings. That works out great for us at Sip Happens Wine Tours as we are more than happy to pick up the overflow of visitors and residents looking for a day of wine touring.
So I’d like to thank you to the tour companies too busy to pick up the phone or send a quick email reply. Together this has made for a very busy first season out for Sip Happens Wine Tours!