Women at Maison Gabriel Meffre: portrait of Caroline
What does your job entail?
I’m in charge of mail-orders sales for Maison Gabriel Meffre and the organisation of events at Domaine de Longue Toque. There are two seminar rooms available to hire for exterior companies. I also manage corporate gifts for local companies.
I work mainly with the brand Juliette Meffre, which is dedicated to mail-order sales. It is a range of wines that has existed for more than two decades. And I also handle sales to private customers for products in the Gabriel Meffre range.
What is the Juliette Meffre range?
It’s a range of wines from the Rhône Valley and the South of France, which is exclusively marketed for via mail-order. Our customers are wine lovers. They appreciate the consistency and frequency of our offerings, as well as our home delivery and customer care service. Our special offers are sent through the post and available on our website. I manage the entire business plan for Juliette Meffre.
How long have you been at Maison Gabriel Meffre?
For 20 years, I have worked in the Private Customer Sales department located at Domaine de Longue Toque, where we have a cellar for private customers.
I joined in 2001, through an ad published in the local paper. I began at the reception desk, taking care of disputes, customer relations and order entry.
I then worked on the operational budget forecast and producing sales proposals, with the choice of wines and their production monitoring. Later, in 2019, when the department manager left, the company offered me the chance to become manager and supervise the team.
What are your responsibilities?
I currently work with a marketing firm in order to set up an action plan for the year. I manage the budget for our operations. I have a certain degree of independence in my work, from choosing the wines to the operational review. The communications firm provides creative input and advice. They are highly specialised in the mail-order wine sales. We choose the content of our offerings together and adapt them to various themes (such as anniversaries and wine fairs).
What are the highlights of the year?
We have campaigns to build customer loyalty and acquire new customers, as well as digital campaigns. Over a one-year period, there are ten loyalty-building campaigns and three prospecting campaigns. In terms of digital, there are five or six specific campaigns, in addition to online support for postal campaigns. I’m also involved in proofreading the company newsletter and work in collaboration with the Cellar Manager to create special offers for Domaine de Longue Toque’s customers.
What are your plans for 2021?
In terms of communications for the Juliette Meffre brand, we will be highlighting Maison Gabriel Meffre’s 85th anniversary. We began the year with a competition for our loyal customers. There are also plans for a new limited-edition label for a Juliette Meffre cuvée. We will also be organising a competition based on birth dates. We wish our customers happy birthday, with each customer receiving a personalised postcard once every year (approximately 1600 customers per month).
I have plans to create a club for a hundred or so reference customers, in order to meet their expectations more closely, which is also part of Maison Gabriel Meffre’s CSR approach. The aim is to gather our customers’ opinions about various trends, and ask them questions about certain topics, such as the use of the screw cap. We don’t know how they might react and this interests us.
What is special about how the brand communicates with its audience?
We have to be careful and remain in phase with our customer target, which is mainly made up of seniors, who are sensitive to change. If we make changes, we have to explain and support them with descriptive content. This involves an educational dimension. For example, delivery is a very important part of the order process, so explaining how to make an appointment digitally is a key part of the quality of the service provided. Not all of our customers are equipped or comfortable with new communication technologies, so our customer service team provides assistance with things like placing an order on the website and tracking delivery on our carrier’s platform. We need to be on hand to listen and help, because customer relationship is a very important part of what I do.
What do you enjoy about your job?
For me, Maison Gabriel Meffre is a fantastic place to work. I’ve been part of the team for a number of years and I feel at home here. I’m very attached to the Dentelles de Montmirail site; the view is absolutely stunning. What I like about my job is the human relationship with our customers. I try to adopt a personal approach in our letters; I take a lot of care and attention when communicating with them. I always bear in mind that they could be my parents or grandparents.
I also enjoy managing the customer database. I can segment it and find out what the appetite and purchasing frequency are for a specific product. I’m particularly interested in fine-grained analysis, as it enables me to refine the strategy and action plan.
I also enjoy management aspects and overseeing the budget is very interesting. Lastly, managing my team of two is a great source of satisfaction.
How has Covid impacted your day-to-day work?
I’ve seen a growth in distance selling during this period. Senior customers, both existing and new, demonstrated their trust in us last year. They have been very loyal and we have been very attentive to their needs. During the lockdown period, we made sure that we systematically contacted them, making more than 1000 calls a month, in order to provide personalised tracking of their orders.
How do you see Maison Gabriel Meffre’s CSR policy?
I see it in a positive light. Audrey Chaufournier, in charge of quality control, and the management team have worked to make CSR a global corporate policy that involves all of our teams.
The company currently enjoys a high level of recognition in the wine industry, as our employees are engaged in the approach and the company provides them with effective tools. It offers a modern vision of the company, while respecting its local roots. For me, it’s a global approach for a modern company. I want us to move forward while respecting our customers.
How do you see your role at the company?
I’m physically distant from the company’s headquarters. This means that I receive less information.
The brand Juliette Meffre has had to make a place for itself within the company. The marketing team has worked hard to ensure that it’s a brand in its own right. The legitimacy of this brand has been built by the people who have developed the range of wines, grown sales and opened up other sales channels.
How did your relationship with wine begin?
I came here almost by chance. Before, I worked for a call centre and, in my client portfolio, there was Cave de Gigondas, which is how I discovered the appellation and Maison Gabriel Meffre. Wine is all about pleasure. It is by nature a pleasant product to work with, because customers buy wine as a personal experience, to share and to celebrate events. The entire process is interesting in our business: from working the vines to our relationship with the end consumer.
Would you like to end with a word for Maison Gabriel Meffre?
I wish Maison Gabriel Meffre a long life!
This series of portraits puts the spotlight on women at Maison Gabriel Meffre. Read more interviews with other members of the Maison Gabriel Meffre team:
- Laura Pourtier, Responsable Export
- Pascale Abadie, Responsable Achats Vins
- Yash Ghienne, Directrice Export Europe
- Audrey Chaufournier, Responsable QSE
- Véronique Torcolacci, Directrice Achats & Qualité des Vins - Winemaker
- Valérie Vincent, Responsable Marketing et Communication
- Christine Lacroix-Pallandre, Directrice Administration des Ventes