How well do you know your customers?

 

Know your customers' needsMarshall Fields, a retailing pioneer, often told his staff: Give the lady what she wants!” That sounds very simple, but you need to understand your customers and what they really want, then offer it. To do this, think about who they are, what they like to buy, when they come into your shop, how they found your shop, etc. And, of course, you must always remember the customer is always king or queen and what they want or need will change over time. You need to stay abreast of these changes while still providing quality coffee, great service and maintaining the very things that make your store unique.

So, how did your current customers find your shop? Where are they coming from when they visit and where are they going when they leave? What do they buy when they are in your store? The best way to find out the answers to these questions is to ask your customers. Many will be grateful that you even asked. Understanding how they found your store (signage, location, marketing, word of mouth, Twitter, etc.) will help you direct your efforts to finding more of them, if they are profitable. Another way is just to observe them to determine how their purchase patterns change on given days or times.

Understanding where customers are coming from and where they are going should help you direct marketing efforts to those areas (e.g. maybe it’s an office building, a school or church), tailoring the products and pricing to meet their needs. It will also help you determine which community activities and promotions might better meet their needs. Perhaps there are events that are popular in your community, such as a festival. Maybe you should have a presence or sponsor on some level. Or maybe your shop is near a popular bike trail or youth soccer fields. Think about creative ways to reach those potential customers.

The most important reason to know information about your customers is that you need to have new customers coming into your shop every week. There are not standard answers or responses to any of the questions, but understanding some of the customer behavioral dynamics will help you tailor your product, price, promotions and ultimately, profit. Customers’ patterns will change over time. Attrition is part of business and you need to keep searching and to find new customers.

To learn more about ways to succeed in your store or coffee shop, call 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com.