Everyone (except those with masters degrees in marketing) is confused by the whole marketing thing. Including me. But let’s sort this one out together.
First of all, marketing does not mean just going out and spending a bunch of cash on T.V. or newspaper ads. Quite simply, it is figuring out who your customers are, and then finding a way to create or capture, and then retain them.
Let’s forget about the capture part for a minute and focus on the other part that everyone likes to forget. It doesn’t do you any good to spend a lot of money getting customers to come in to your place if you don’t figure out a way to keep them coming back. It is so hard to get customers to come in for the first time, in fact it is five times more expensive to get them to come in once, than it is to get them to return.
I think it makes a lot of sense to put most of your energy into finding ways to get them to come in more often and spend more money when they do come in. That is part of a marketing plan! Come up with strategies to up that check average. Work on ways to satisfy the customer when they do come in. We want them to come back.
Improve their experience
Once you have captured that customer, make sure they want to come back again and again by providing superior food and service. Create a place that is fun to go to, and by that I mean friendly and accommodating.
Smiles and hellos work tremendously. Remembering repeat customers’ names is a big one. Train your staff to do these things and then lead by example. The point being, customer retention is our goal.
I will talk about how to get customers in for the first time in future posts, but figuring out how to retain them is really the key–and it is up to you! Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your yummy food will take care of that, there are many other elements to this puzzle. There is this thing called service…..