In October of 2015, Typsy (called Upside at the time) hosted its first live event with a line-up of all-star speakers. The aim: inspire a crowd of Melbourne hospitality folks to 10x their customer service. It was a night to remember, and now we have some good news for everyone who couldn't make it – we filmed the whole thing!
In the upcoming weeks, we will be releasing talks from Upside Live Melbourne, starting this week with Justin Dry. Justin is the co-founder of Vinomofo, also known as 'the most epic tribe of wine loving mofos on the planet'. The wine-deal site has been growing exponentially since they started in 2011, and this year landed a $25 million investment deal.
We caught up with Justin recently to see how he's been since the event. Read on to hear all about his latest news, and watch his talk below.
How have you been since we last saw you? It seems a lot has been happening with Vinomofo this year. Tell us what's new.
We’ve launched in our first global market, in New Zealand, and the US is next. We’ll be launching in six overseas markets this year, which is exciting. We also did our first capital raising this year, which was the largest Australian backed capital raise in history at $25 million.
We’ve now got 450,000 members. Our team has grown to 140 people. We did our first overseas sale last week, and we’ve got our first 5,000 New Zealand mofos. Overall it’s been a good nine months since the event.
At the event you spoke about how you should focus on improving the customer experience, not on making a sale. What's a good way to boost that customer experience?
At Vinomofo, we only recognize a customer as a customer after the second sale. When you focus on metrics that way, it makes people in the team think that way. People realize it’s about getting someone on as a customer for the longer term.
You have to make sure that flow of customer experience is built in a way that recognizes that desire. It’s in everything; from the way you select your product, how you recommend the product, how you follow up service of that product. Our returns policy is a major part of that. If someone’s not happy with our wine, we encourage them to try a second bottle. We pick up the cost and offer them a refund including shipping. It’s a painful experience for us, but it’s good for the customer.
One of your other big tips in your talk was to just have fun. What is a way for you to keep work fun?
Having fun is part of our culture; it’s built into everything we do. It’s how we tackle problems and challenges, leadership days and it’s actually part of our performance reviews as well. Our performance reviews are conducted with the whole team together. And performance is measured up against our credo, our values, and part of that is how much fun people are actually having. Are you enjoying yourself in the workspace?
Every Friday we knock off early and have a big party. There’s 140 people, so it’s a big party every week. We also run a big event every month. We get inspiring people to come in and talk to the team, often people in food and wine, brought together to have fun. Training days are built around that concept too, we take our team on amazing weekends where they go and learn things and just have fun.
How was your experience at Upside Live Melbourne last year?
I had an awesome event last year. It was one of the best run events that I’ve been a part of. The production was great. The theatre was amazing. It was professionally run. There were some really good speakers, some of whom I’ve actually maintained friendships with. It’s just been awesome. It was a great experience.
Our next Typsy Live event in Sydney will be all about Innovation. What does innovation mean to you?
In our business it means constantly asking questions about why we’re doing something in a certain way. We’re constantly looking for ways to do things better. We’re constantly looking for knowledge to create innovation in our own space.
We encourage everyone to have a voice. Our meetings are run in a way that we call the open boardroom. We have a group of people in our meetings, and then after an important meeting we distribute the information to everyone in our team. We tell everyone what we’re doing and why, and we encourage feedback from everyone. So instead of having 20 smart minds, we’ve got 140. All of these things combined make for an innovative culture.
Why should people attend Typsy Live Sydney?
I personally still go to a lot of events that I’m not talking at. You have to go out and learn and get that external expertise. In the wine business we have something we call cellar palate, which happens when you only drink your own wines. In the same way, if you’re only learning from your own people in your own business, you’re not doing everything you can for the benefit of your business. You have to learn from other people who’ve had different histories and expertise and experiences.
Awesome. So what’s next for Vinomofo?
Psssst! Our next live event will be held on October 5th at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney. The theme is 'Hospitality Innovation'. You can find out more about the event here.
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