Lessons from a café

I've used a recent post titled ‘Instead of Advertising’ as a case study with business owners and managers twice in recent months. While it focuses on a restaurant it seems that we can all relate to their predicament in cost effectively attracting more customers, more often to such establishments.

In a recent newsletter, Winston Marsh takes this one step further in relating his dining experience with friends. Please take the time to look through this and identify the lessons from it for your business.

Both case studies would make great topics for discussion with your own team.

Over to Winston:

We’ve just returned home from lunch with friends at a nearby cafe. When we arrived at the café, there was no, “Hello” or “Welcome,” but rather a blunt question of “Do you have a booking?”

“Yes,” we said, “We have a booking for four in the name of Phillips.”

“No,” was the response, “You don’t have a booking.”

“Yes,” we explained, “It was made at your website.”

“Well, we don’t seem to have it” they responded, “but I guess we can fit you in.”

No apologies, no how’s your fathers, just a blunt statement!

We got over it anyway, the meal wasn’t bad and the company was terrific. But there are lessons in this for everyone in business. They are…

  • Do you know that your internet ordering system is functioning? Do you check that, however placed and from what device, these communications get through?
  • Are you checking how your people greet visitors to your business?
  • Are you checking how phone calls are handled in your business?
  • Do you check how your team are responding to emails and how long it takes?
  • Do you have protocols for how you want your team to deal with mistakes that happen anywhere in the course of doing business with you?
  • What impression do people have when they finish their interaction with your business? What do you and your team do to try and make them say “Wow!”?

The episode we experienced highlights the need to always check out how your team handle people when they are doing business with you.

You should phone your business fairly frequently, order from your website or send an email to see how quickly you get a response and how your request is handled. Maybe you should ask a couple of people to ‘phantom shop’ you occasionally.

People deal with businesses that treat them well and look after them as they would want to be looked after themselves.

A couple of mantras to remember:

  • You never get a second chance at a first impression.
  • Last impressions linger.
  • It’s not your product or your service that produces the profits, it’s your people!

Wise words from Winston and lots of food for thought from this café experience.

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at http://www.terrifictrading.com/terrific-newsletter/. Alternatively, email info@terrifictrading.com.