When building a beverage club, it’s important to make the sign-up process easy by having staff enter a customer’s information, creating a website with a short form, or building an app that lets members sign in quickly and earn rewards. Customer relations management (CRM) software programs can store and update data so your staff has more time to make the personal connections that lead to membership. Typical features include a display of customer emails and events, the ability to instantly sort information from a point-of-sale (POS) screen, and integration with common accounting programs. Ultimately, the best CRM program is the one that matches the structure and size of your club.

  • Alex Gile, TrueCommerce

    TrueCommerce’s “member’s choice” feature is significant because it lets club members log in and customize their club order before a shipment is sent. “This improves club member satisfaction and reduces attrition, says Senior Vice President Alex Gile. “Another advantage to using a single database direct-to-consumer platform is that you can look in one place and see all purchase activity for a single customer regardless of whether the customer ordered online, over the phone, in the tasting room, or via the club.”

  • Active Club Solutions’ ability to track all of a member’s purchases is a selling point for Dan Nechemias, national sales manager for the company. “ACS notes sales receipts, sends an email on a customer’s birthday, and provides customers notice of winery events. It’s about growing a pool of data to be really rich and deep,” he explains.
  • The CRM capability to collect activity information from web sales and in-person visits is critical for Scott Meloney, founder and CEO of Microworks Technologies, Inc. “Our software [Microworks Wine Direct] can determine who’s buying from the website, who likes red wines, and who’s attended events. We deliver this information to the [tasting room staff] so they can enhance the immediate experience and make it more memorable,” he says.

    Jules Robbins, Vines OS and Hops OS

  • “Vines OS lets buyers sign up to become members while they are buying online, without ever leaving the checkout screen,” says Jules Robbins, founder of Vines OS and Hops OS (for beer clubs). “We’re integrated with Revel Systems, an iPad and Cloud-based POS that is deeply integrated with Quickbooks.”

No matter which CRM you choose—one of those mentioned here or another that better suits your needs, staying on top of customer preferences and maintaining accurate club records will ensure smooth commerce and long-lasting memberships.