Turning Customers into Evangelists.
Consider this quote from Diamond Jim Brady, “You can have the best product in the world but if you can’t sell it you have still got it”! So what’s the missing element? Why customers of course.
So you build a good business and acquire customers both regular and occasional, continue to market your business and believe you offer the best service and food quality available. But is this enough to be successful?
To ensure the success of your restaurant, in a time when competition has never been stronger, keeping your customers coming back time after time and creating “Loyalty” has never been more important. Recent research has identified that Loyal customers frequent their restaurant of choice on average four times more often than other customers. In addition, these loyal customers are more likely to recommend that restaurant to their friends and colleagues, creating that best of marketing practices “Word of Mouth”. In essence these customers have turned from just being customers and into “Evangelists” for your business and doing a lot of your work for you.
My definition of an “Evangelist” would be: A customer turned into an “Evangelist” These individuals, are more than satisfied by your restaurant and are happy to share their experience with others, they become a vivid testimony to your company. In fact, 90 percent of customers say that their decision is influenced by an online review or word of mouth testimonial. Let the customer speak on your behalf!
But how do you turn a customer into an evangelist? Well, it starts with Great Food, Excellence of Service, Affordable Pricing in your market segment, Restaurant Atmosphere (Ambience, Vibe) and promotions. Of course all restaurant that are serious about being in business should have these characteristics, but how many really do? Already got that in place? Great, if unsure you better start measuring the service and offer you actually provide not what you think the customer receives.
Once you have this buttoned down you need to identify the Loyal customer through information you already have or need to start collecting. This information can come in the form of:
Staff – They know who they see on a regular basis and should be able to identify loyal customers.
Social Media – There is nothing like social media when it comes to cultivating a community. When your followers become part of your community, you gain instant access to them. That means you can find out what challenges they are facing and what they like and don’t like about your offer. You can engage in ongoing dialogue that can be more valuable than any kind of paid market research.
Data – Information collected through POS systems, how many times do you get asked at any retail outlet for your e-mail?
There are a myriad of ways to collect this important data, from Restaurant “Apps” to Incentive programs, the important piece of the jigsaw is to recognize these important customers and speak to them to retain their loyalty to get them coming back time and time again.
Still unsure? Give me a call, we would love to help.