Food & Drink: Getting Customers
Moment of truth: Are your customers coming back for more?
Every customer counts, you say? Well, it turns out a small portion of them count more than you think.
80% of business comes from just 20% of customers and repeat customers spend up to 67% more than new ones. Loyalty breeds business success.
How do you stack up?
Do your customers come bouncing back like a rubber ball or are they bouncing away into the loving arms of someone else? This is a question you need to ask.
Keep track of your regulars
A quick way to find out how you’re doing is to keep track of how many returning customers you have. If people aren’t coming back, you have a serious problem. Keep track over time to to see if changes you make to menu, pricing, etc, have a positive impact. Many Point of Sale systems make this really easy. iZettle users easily use the free Point of Sale app to get a quick overview – or log in to the portal to track every sale and product sold.
Study returning figures to get an idea of what your customers like and then try to repeat successful tactics.
“We study returning figures,” says iZettle user Peter Honegger of Newcomer Wines. “It can be interesting to see if there is a spike in return visits after running special offers or special events. It gives you an idea of what customers like and then you can try to repeat successful tactics.”
Ask your customers for feedback
We spoke with Magnus Söderlund, a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and an expert in building customer loyalty (we have very clever friends at iZettle!).
“Loyalty comes from customer satisfaction,” says Magnus. “This in turn leads to priceless word of mouth recommendations. People want to tell others when they are happy.”
So all is well then?
“It takes a lot of work,” says Magnus. “But it’s vital you ensure nothing is upsetting the silent majority.”
Seek and ye shall find
So what’s the solution?
Firstly, make sure there’s an easy way for customers to provide feedback. It could be a simple suggestion box for people to post ideas in (remember to supply pens and paper) or an email address printed on a receipt or a menu directing people to pop their thoughts to you. Make sure you act on this and respond to people, don’t make it a one way conversation.
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Secondly, always keep your eyes firmly on the action in front of you! Make a conscious effort to look at everything your customers do and see if there are any common trends and don’t shirk from seeking feedback when you spot them.
95% of unhappy customers never complain – thus you may be losing customers without having a clue.
For instance, if people are leaving a lot of fries on their plate then perhaps there's too much salt. Or maybe you are too generous in your portions and whilst people love them their bellies simply can’t take any more! Once you see a pattern like this ask a customer (politely) and see if you can get to the bottom of it. Your customers will appreciate you diving a little deeper than just asking ‘if everything was ok’, and you know what you need to do to get better.
How to get them coming back for more
If you know you don’t have as many loyal customers as you’d wish for, don’t panic. As the saying goes, the ‘course of true love never did run smooth’. You just need to give things a little helping hand.
Luckily for you, we’re here to be that helping hand! Next week we’ll be taking a look at the best ways to build loyalty and how to handle customer relationship management.
Do this today:
Ask for feedback from at least three of your customers. Try to go a little deeper than “Was everything to your satisfaction?”
Make sure you have a way of tracking returning customers to help you measure your loyalty base. iZettle reports can be perfect for this.
Hana Aljoofri is among the 5% or so who sometimes complains – or rather points out – when she's not satisfied with customer service or the product she just bought. Why? To help the merchant and make sure that he or she isn't losing customers!