“Customer service is so very important because it is a rarity these days.”
When it opened in California’s wine country 30 years ago, The Apple Farm Inn’s luxurious rooms and lush gardens made it an instant favorite destination for tourists. Today, its great gift shop makes it one for locals as well!
Sharon Peters manages the lively two-story store and explains, “We have a very wide variety of items that are constantly changing. We find customers are far more discerning than they used to be, and you really have to have the right product mix to appeal to them.”
Cardthartic Rep Marianna Gordon says that Sharon not only has an eye for what will appeal to Apple Farm customers, she knows how to make the products appear most appealing. Merchandising is such an art and, says Marianna, “As a Rep, it always amazes me when someone can buy from 20 different brands and somehow put them all together in a way that looks attractive. Sharon does that beautifully!”
Sharon herself attributes much of the store’s success to the warmth and friendliness of its employees. “We make everyone feel welcome,” she says. To other retailers she would stress, “Customer service is so very important because it is a rarity these days.”
Rep Marianna obviously agrees on the importance of good customer service, because it’s a quality Sharon says she sees in her, too. “I appreciate that Marianna always makes herself available to come right in when I need her.” In turn, Marianna says servicing Apple Farm is her pleasure. “When you first walk into the gift shop, you’re greeted with a ‘Welcome to Apple Farm!’ It doesn’t matter who is behind the counter, everyone is warm and inviting to customers.”
She adds that “Sharon is a wonderful boss, and the people who work for her love her. That’s what makes the people at Apple Farm so warm and friendly. You can’t have a nice staff without a nice boss.”