We are huge fans of independent cafés, and are on an unofficial mission to try them all! This is an extreme but enjoyable task, but we happily overindulge on caffeine and sweet treats to continue this arduous task. All in the name of supporting small businesses!
We have had numerous cups of good coffee, and a waistline-threatening range of fantastic treats. A few places stand our in our memory, because of a few things they do in addition to serving great coffee and food. One of these is the Swedish ‘Bageriet’ in Covent Garden in London. Tiny tiny café, serving great food, cakes and coffee, and l-o-v-e-l-y staff. And that’s why we remember it, and want to go back.
We’ve put together a list of 5 things that makes a coffee shop stand out.
1. Offer something in return for your customers’ loyalty.
A loyalty or a rewards program is a simple and efficient way of giving something back to the customer, who in turn feels valued and appreciated. This again leads to a high probability of him or her returning. Repeat business = higher revenue.
2. Show that you care.
There is an increasing number of good coffee shops out there, all selling quality teas and coffees. The places we remember with extra fondness are those where the staff make an effort to make me feel welcome. Greet customers as they walk in, ask how they are, and use their name if you get a chance. We love it because it makes us feel special. We know we’re probably only one of hundreds of customers, therefore we love when we’re made to feel differently. It makes us want to come back.
3. Welcome feedback or suggestions.
Customers often notice things the staff don’t, or have ideas of their own. Be open to these, and make it obvious that you’d be glad to hear it. Either by asking directly, or putting out a ‘suggestion-box’ or similar. Listen to your customers and show appreciation!
4. Be active on social media.
We love getting tweets and Facebook posts directly in our feeds about the daily specials. It keeps the shop at the top of our minds. Engaging with your customers also digitally is great, and doesn’t need to take much time. As customers many of us spend a lot of time on social media already – take advantage of this and reach out directly. Online buzz transforms into more customers.
5. Be generous and friendly.
It seems obvious, but it makes a huge difference, and keeps your customers more than happy. A recommendation or the bringing in of new customers in are both highly likely results. And if you are introducing a new product, there’s no better way to promote it than having people try it, either with a free sample or a special offer to catch your customers attention. Many of the coffee giants often have 50% offers whilst launching new products. They do it because it works – take advantage of this winning formula!
If you own a coffee-shop;
Try incorporating or emphasising some of these elements. It doesn’t require much, but the benefits will be huge. Think of it as a way to improve and boost your word of mouth-marketing! And as we know – people listen to their friends far more than they listen to expensive ad campaigns.
Stop chasing new customers and focusing on those you have – the new ones will be coming as a result of your existing ones being happy.
PS! You can now follow us on Bloglovin!