A business that gives its patrons what they want when they want it will never find itself wishing for a healthy supply of loyal customers.
But what makes a customer loyal? Is it the food you serve? The music you play? Is it the ambiance you provide that ties all of those elements together?
Guess what? It’s none of those things. Rather, to make customers loyal, you need the following four principles. Put them in place starting today and you’ll notice plenty of customers coming back to your establishment with smiles on their faces.
Make it Personal
A customer walking into your establishment wants one thing. Sure, he or she wants tasty food and delicious cocktails, comfortable seating and an environment that’s either relaxing or energized – depending on the type of establishment you run – but beyond all that, every customer wants to be recognized.
Look your customers in the eyes when you greet them, and when you serve them. Remember their names and faces. And above all, ask questions to form a connection. That’s what will keep you in their minds the next time they step out for lunch, dinner, happy hour, or a night on the town.
Be Inspirational
In the hospitality industry, inspiration starts from the very top of the pyramid all the way down to the base. An owner who loves this business will have a manager who loves coming to work each day. That positivity will then bleed over to the staff who will be driven to connect with customers and to build lasting relationships.
And then guess what happens? Those customers will be inspired, won’t they? They’ll be inspired to come back, to spread the word – on social media and with friends, family and co-workers – and the business will grow. Be inspired, love what you do, and your customers will love you for it.
Be Consistent
Your customers should be able to count on quality of service product every single time they walk into your establishment. Food should come from sources that are fresh and delicious. Cocktails should be made from quality ingredients with garnishes that make them stand out. And everything should be delivered to their tables quickly.
That’s service with a smile they can count on. Ever hear the saying, “Under promise and over deliver?” That’s how loyal customers are made.
Promote Your Core Values (And Operate By Them)
The very thing that sets your establishment apart should be written into your bar or restaurant’s mission statement. But don’t stop there. Operate by this creed you’ve established and promote it at every opportunity, in your marketing statements, on your table tents, and even on the shirts your staff wears.
If your customers can identify with your mission and core values – and you must know your target audience intimately to get this right – they’ll begin to trust you, and loyalty will soon follow.
Keep in mind that, above all else, you’re looking for one thing – a reaction from your customers. Get that reaction and they’ll remember you.
They’ll tell everyone they know about you. At lunchtime at work, they’ll say, “I know a great place we can all go.” That’s a loyal customer, and it all starts with a friendly greeting, consistent service and a brand that speaks to your target market.
Not only will the above build loyalty, but you’ll be able to charge more money. Sometimes a lot more, and that’s when your business will grow, quite often to new heights.