5 Ways to Increase Customer Engagement and Grow Your Brewery

Grow your brewery’s customer engagement both digitally and in person, to increase profits. Getting customers involved in your business is crucial in today’s marketplace as breweries are becoming more and more competitive to keep people coming back.

Here’s 5 ways to increase customer engagement and grow your brewery:

  1. Increase On-Premise Activity by Tailoring Their Experience
  2. Interact with Digital Touch Points
  3. Monitor Online Experience Reviews
  4. Increase Beer-to-Go Sales
  5. Focus on Retention

1.) Increase On-Premise Activity by Tailoring Their Experience

A brewery should be an experience, not just a visit to the local bar. Tailor the experience of your guest from the second they walk in the door. A simple welcome can completely impact the way the customer feels about their entire experience.

Once a customer is in the door, do your best to cater to them.  Provide an experience, not just beer. Your brewery has a story and the more your customer experiences the passion you have behind the beer, the more they feel connected. Treat customers as individuals, not just a blanket statement. It’s been proven that a simple “hi” and “thank you” can go a long way in a guest experience.

Statistics collected by Secret Hopper, a mystery shopping service for craft breweries, found that “guests are greeted with a smile, “hello,” or other welcoming gesture on 81.4 percent of brewery visits. When a brewery employee greets a guest in this manner, that guest will recommend, and return based on that experience 94.9 percent of the time. When a brewery employee does not begin the experience with a smile, “hello,” or other welcoming gesture, that guest will only recommend/return 75.9 percent of the time.

To keep people coming back, notice overall trends in their beer consumption and cater to the customers. Notice what beers a customer might be drinking and recommend beers based on their choices. It makes the experience at your brewery feel authentic and personal and will keep them returning to your brewery.

2.) Interact with Digital Touch Points

Are you utilizing social media to the fullest for your brewery? It is important to interact with social media touch points when people are posting about your beer. This goes beyond just liking a photo that they posted on Instagram at your brewery. Take the time to interact with them. It shows others that you are passionate about your beer and truly care about the consumer.

It is important to remember that a post on social media is potentially reaching a new market or audience that doesn’t even know your brewery. That is why it is important to be active and engage your consumers. Potential new consumers could be scrolling through their feed, see your interaction and be compelled to learn a little more about you.

Consumers love getting acknowledged by their favorite brewery, so repost their stories or photos if it fits your brand, it will create a large loyalty from your customers.

Don’t exist only to accept engagement. Instagram gives you the opportunity to like photos your fans take of your taproom, your events and your beer.

Use social media as a tool to increase engagement, expand your market and continue to nurture your consumers’ positive experience online once they leave the taproom.

3.) Monitor Online Experience Reviews

Modern Times Beer Yelp

Another great way to interact and get feedback is through online beer reviews. Yes, they won’t always be positive; That is to be expected, but you can still learn, grow, and show the consumer you value their opinion. Remember that good or bad beer reviews have an online following and how you choose to respond can impact your business. Find a middle ground for those negative beer reviews, and don’t be afraid to explore if there is an issue with a beer based on reviews.

It is also important to know what people are saying about your brewery on the internet. This goes beyond their review of your beer and should be more focused on their experience at your brewery. As a business, you can always improve the customer experience, see where you are being successful, and see where you are getting things wrong. Don’t be afraid to admit fault in a situation. People appreciate a company they can empathize with. Of course, it is hard when a review paints you in a negative light, but see where the real issue lies. Is it a one-off situation that was preventable, or is it something that is continually mentioned that needs to be changed?

The best way to respond to that negative review is to thank them for their feedback, promise you will address the situation, and invite them back to turn that negative review more positive. Customers are usually willing to go in and adjust online reviews when they see their issue has been acknowledged by the brewery. Remember, use those negative reviews to shape your business. The last thing you want to do is invite back a customer that had a less than ideal time and have them experience the same thing again because you learned nothing the first time.

4.) Increase Beer-to-Go Sales

Buoy To-Go Beer Cans

Not every form of customer engagement is measurable or something you can see. However, it is still an important aspect of increasing customer engagement to grow your brewery. What is a simple way to increase engagement you can’t really see? Increase beer to go sales. Don’t be afraid to be a self-promoter. Use to-go sales as a valuable part of your business if that is something you offer.

Again, this can go back to the experience at the brewery. See what beers the customer has been drinking all day and make suggestions based on the trends they like. According to Secret Hopper, consumers are 40% more likely to purchase beer to go when asked.

Another great way to increase engagement from beer to go, make your beers something to share. People are willing to line up and wait for a rare new beer with a great label design, and consumers love to show off a beer that is hard to get on social media. This expands your reach into a market outside of people that just follow you.

5.) Focus on Retention

If you provide a great experience, customers will come back. Focus on how to bring customers back by giving them an experience they don’t want to miss. Make #FOMO real.

All the ways mentioned will help build customer engagement and grow your brewery, but the real task is to make sure they keep coming back. It is hard for a brewery to thrive on just one-time visitors alone. Make sure you focus on retention, be true to yourself, and the consumer will feel your authenticity and will keep coming back. Encourage ways for them to follow you so they can keep up with the happenings at your brewery and entice them with new and interesting events and beer releases.

Conclusion

People want to feel like individuals when they visit your brewery and they also want to understand what makes you different. Increasing customer engagement is a great way to keep people coming back. It’s also a great way to get new people in the door as well. Create an experience for your customer both in person and online in order to drive sales and grow your brewery.