VineSpring Team Spotlight | Britney Yunker
Britney Yunker was the first employee that VineSpring Co-Founders, Chris Towt and Jamison Morrow, brought on board. There is no doubt that her persistence and hard work have transformed the experience of every single VineSpring client in a positive way. She’s a natural helper, has a creative edge, and absolutely loves building and maintaining relationships. Learn about Britney’s past experiences in the wine industry, her number one tip for a successful wine/beer club launch, and how her determination has served her well.
The VineSpring team is located all around the United States. Where are you located and how do you keep connected to your team?
I reside in fabulous Reno, Nevada, with my husband, Jim, my thirteen-year old daughter, Zoe, and our guinea pig, Balthazar.
Our Support team keeps very connected using a variety of technologies, but we primarily use chat and the good ole’ fashioned telephone. Our work requires us to be in constant communication as we often collaborate on issues to get the best possible and quickest answers to our users.
You have a long history of working in the wine industry. What drew you to it and what have your various roles been?
Oh man...I’ve been in the wine industry for about fourteen years. I began at another eCommerce company, which is where I made many lasting relationships in the Napa/Sonoma wine world. I learned how much I love the folks who actually make the wine that I love to drink. Not only did I discover my passion for helping winery clients succeed, but I also forged some wonderful friendships that continue today.
The next chapter in my professional life was at Red Car Wine. For two years, I led their DTC efforts. I helped to manage and grow their allocation and club business, but I also had my fair share of time behind the bar! Working the tasting room was a whole new thing for me. I LOVED it and learned a ton about what it takes to maintain long-lasting, loyal customers.
How did you hear about VineSpring and what made you want to work there?
Not gonna lie. I was a stalker. I had heard about VineSpring and had a couple of passing conversations with Chris Towt, and just knew that it was the right fit for me. So I reached out to Chris about every four to six months to see if there might be a spot. After a year or so, I got the call from Chris and Jamison. VineSpring was finally at a point where they needed to bring on their first employee. And I was the lucky choice!
Can you tell us about your current role at VineSpring?
I’m the Customer Support Lead. I head the amazing team that our clients interact with every day on the phone, email, and chat. I create and maintain all of the Support documentation. With assistance from the team, I create all of the articles and videos that make up our knowledge base. And most recently we’ve begun quarterly webinars which have been very well received.
What experiences from your past help you the most today in your position at VineSpring?
I’d have to say that my wine industry experience has been incredibly helpful in that I truly feel I bring a lot to the table in all aspects of DTC sales. I’ve literally worked with hundreds of wineries throughout the years so I see what works and what doesn’t in almost every aspect of the DTC realm. If you’re ever thinking about trying something new, feel free to run it by me. Most likely I’ve seen it before and can offer suggestions and thoughts!
What part of your job at VineSpring brings you the most joy?
I absolutely love creating relationships with our clients. It may sound cheesy, but I love HELPING. I get so much satisfaction from helping to solve a problem that a client is having. It’s the best!
Outside of VineSpring, where do you find the most joy?
Definitely my family. I adore my wild and wonderful kid. I also love gardening, hiking, cooking, and reading.
What advice do you find yourself giving to wineries/breweries who want to launch a successful wine/beer club?
KEEP. IT. SIMPLE.
When I worked in the tasting room and we were developing our club model, we tried everything. What we finally figured out is that when you give customers too many choices, they glaze over, especially if they’ve had a glass or two… So, keep it short, sweet, and easy to understand. I guarantee you’ll get more signups if you keep it simple, simple, simple.
How have consumer expectations evolved over the past few years and what are a few simple things that wineries/brewers can do to satisfy them?
Communication is the key. Keep connected. Make the customers feel special by crafting special campaigns just for them. Pick up the phone to your biggest buyers to keep them engaged. Send handwritten thank-you notes for winery visits and private tastings. Personal touches go a long, long way to creating and fostering long-lasting relationships.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
If you would’ve asked a seven-year old Britney what she wanted to be, she would’ve answered, ‘Movie star.’
Can you tell us about your most memorable winery or brewery experience?
So many! But one of my absolute favorites is any visit to Casa Nuestra on the Silverado Trail in St. Helena. Tiny, cozy, warm, informal, intimate, beautiful wines. And they have the most adorable Nubian goats!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’ve recently discovered black and white photography. I’m also working on two personal projects; T-shirt designs featuring really cool vintage images and a vegan youtube channel and blog where, as a new vegan, I plan to review plant-based alternatives to my favorite foods like cheese and cream.