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Project: Winery & Wine Club Service Design 

Location: Napa, CA

My Role: CX/Service Design Lead and Workshop Co-Facilitator, hired by CrossbeatNY

Duration: 3 months

Scope: ​

  • UX/CX Research

  • Journey Mapping

  • Digital User Flow

  • Service Design Vision

  • Co-Creation Workshops

  • Service Blueprint


The Challenge


  • A well-loved, large-scale sparkling winery fell victim to a dated brand with a blurry positioning and an aging wine club customer base. Their ask was two fold:

    • How can we recruit Millennials into our wine club? 

    • How can we evolve our CRM and sales processes, and ultimately our UX, to support an evolved and engaging digital experience?


  • Our research questions emerged:

    • What is notable about the client's wine club vs. competitors? Why do users subscribe to wine clubs?

    • Why and when do people visit our client's winery? What do they enjoy—and long for—in their experience?

    • Which brand features could translate into a digital or off-site experience? How might we deliver the winery's signature Napa experience elsewhere?

The Research


  • I developed a research plan including: site visit/field study, competitor analysis, staff follow-alongs and phone interviews with existing and lapsed wine club members.

  • I designed an in-market Service Safari, preparing a UX assessment of each competitor brand to note their wine club features, brand positioning and reservations/sales platforms. I distilled quick insights and imagery into printed cheat sheets that we reviewed prior to each location's visit to compare to their on-site experience.

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  • We visited 7 competitor wineries on a weekend to observe peak usage, noting service design elements, physical space design, user flow and wine club conversion attempts (how and when did they pitch their wine clubs to us?).

  • We intercepted 45 visitors at competitor wineries to ask about the experiences/recommendations in the area.

  • Once we understood the market, we visited the client's winery first as secret shoppers over various dayparts and ultimately via staff tours, getting a glimpse into back-end operations during daily service. We performed more intercepts and field observations, noting purchasing patterns, visit occasions, party size, space usage and service flow.

  • We performed in-depth phone interviews with 10 lapsed and existing wine club members (tenures ranging from 6 months to 36 years, lifestime spends of $500 to $25,0000) to understand their purchasing patterns and motivations. A key insight spoke to wine club members longing for a more VIP experience while on-site.


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The Design

  • We mapped the guest journey across various visiting occasions (such as getting a drink at the bar, coming in for a tasting), noting the bottlenecks that we observed for both wine club members and general guests.

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  • Next, I co-led a generative co-creation workshop, assigning team members to personas in an empathy exercise to identify user pain points and opportunities.

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  • Our brainstorm led us to identify a number of service pillars.

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  • Our workshop also helped us create in-person service blueprints for various use cases, expanding on our previous journey map.

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  • After interviewing their digital team and digging into their CMS to understand back-end processes, we mapped a future-state user flow and user stories across in-person visit, purchase and wine club membership, noting operational and technological requirements. 


The Outcomes


  • We prioritized 4 of the 8 on-site opportunities with leadership based on value provided and implementation difficulty/cost. Visitor programming was then designed by staff, making space changes as needed (wayfinding, cabana installations).

  • Handheld ordering systems supported prolonged visits and place-based dining while limiting ordering bottlenecks at POS registers. Across promoted event-based (requiring reservations) and service changes, per guest check averages have increased. Wine club conversion has become an easier sell due to additional features, and no longer relies on counterproductive paper wine club applications or value-based selling.

  • The digital and marketing teams undertook extensive site updates and CMS integrations to offer online reservations and an improved CRM. Last, a cross-channel content strategy was implemented for wine club members and prospective members, based on strategic content recommendations and evolved wine member benefits.

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