Get to know your customers with this one simple trick

When asked the question “Do you know your customers?” what do you say?

Do you also have that awkward shrugging movement that I see time and time again? Not just in the hospitality sector – but ESPECIALLY in the hospitality sector.

You have so many different people in your restaurant/coffee shop/hotel/pub how could you even begin to narrow it down?

Well it’s actually really important to find out their common denominators and figure out why they are coming to you. Imagine if you knew why each and every customer came to you, that message could then be deployed across all of your sales and marketing communication to tell all the other people that might be interested in the same thing.

Let’s talk about your coffee customer…

What does he/she look like? Do you have the morning office workers followed by the busy mum mid-morning and then the lunchtime student rush?

These are examples of 3 potential customer avatars with 3 very different reasons for buying a coffee from you

I’d like to take a moment to run through some processes that we use at Stewarts to help figure out who our customers are and how this matters as to how we communicate with them. First we start by creating a customer avatar with our templates

Meet Espresso Eddie and Cafetière Cathryn…

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These two are our ‘home’ coffee drinker avatars.

We built this out by doing market research alongside a combination of common sense and gut instinct. To make the research simple we just use Google Search and use different phrases like:

“what kind of people go to restaurants”

“what kind of people live in Nottingham”

“What kind of people drink coffee”

Using these broad terms you often get to research documents or case studies and all of this information will help you get a big picture of your customers. Once you have done that, using local searches and your own knowledge you will likely be able to produce a great customer avatar.

No one knows your customers better than you do so you’ll find that if you just have a go at writing this sheet out, it will come easier than you think.

We know that not all of our cafetière users are female and not all of our customers that own an espresso machine are guys but the idea of this process is for you to be able to create the customer you want to talk to yourself and it will make all other sales/marketing issues a whole lot easier. It’s about narrowing down the vision of who these guys are to you and how you want to talk to your customers.

You will likely be looking at the two avatars we created and thinking that you know exactly who they are, maybe you fit the description? I bet you are looking at them and thinking “They’ve been in my place”. Well there are very possibly a lot of similarities between our avatars and yours, no doubt.

The potential is there for them to be coming in every day and getting a coffee, bite to eat and more and all of a sudden, you might be able to sell a kilo of coffee before lunch. However, you’ve got to be able to speak to them and give them the language to go and talk about you to other people!

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Is location a key targeting point for you? Why not check out last month’s tips on how to use Facebook Local Awareness Adverts to drive traffic to your bricks and mortar business?

Once you know where they are though – it comes back to the message and how you are going to communicate with your target audience. I’ve been kind enough to include some blank templates for you and I really want you to go and print one out, pick a customer and fill it in…download it here

I’ll wait…

Seriously…

Do it now, don’t waste any more time leaving money on the table in your business.

Ok…good!

Let’s look at the challenges and pain points. How could a coffee from you answer those challenges and pain points in your own unique way?

If we were to do a coffee related promotion for Cafetiere Cathryn we would probably skip the obvious time saving and focus on the ethical decision making. We already happen to use VegWare (fully compostable cups, lids, stirrers etc) products for the take out coffees at events we do and we would make that really clear.

If we had a permanent bricks and mortar business we might even go one step further and offer a buy back scheme on their take out cups.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (2)

Now I don’t know any coffee shops that offer this at the moment and that simple idea sets you apart from your competition, encourages repeat buying and hits the pain points of your target customer.

Are you starting to see the power of knowing your customer now?

This gives the right message to your right audience and you will definitely see an increase in business and more importantly a really positive and measurable ROI for your investment.

Give these people an opportunity to see just how awesome you are by doing the hard bit of getting them through the door more effectively. Layer on top of that the unique customer experience that you offer and you are on to a winner!

Of course you need to make sure the basics are in place – training needing to be at the top of the list to ensure a standard of excellent service. All of these can really help to deliver a steady stream of new coffee customers.

If you would like help to get your Customer Avatar done and you’re a lucky to be a Stewarts Coffees Commercial Partner then please reach out to me and let me know. I will be more than happy to pop in or chat through anything on the phone.

We are here to grow your business!

Did you want to look at getting take away coffee in your business – check out the blog below

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