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Start and Run Your Own Coffee Shop and Lunch Bar

Start and Run Your Own Coffee Shop and Lunch Bar

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Published by: thailandsk on Dec 19, 2009
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06/02/2014

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Always encourage feedback from your customers, good or bad. Just as a happy customer
can help build up your business by spreading good words, an unhappy one can do just
the opposite. If you have a problem customer, try to sort out their grievance there and
then and don’t let it escalate. A customer feedback questionnaire can give you valuable
insights into the way your business is viewed.

I have given you a sample of a customer questionnaire in Appendix 6, but of course you
will know what specific questions you want answered by your customers. Make it
multiple-choice questions and leave a space for your customers to tick the appropriate
box, and then space for them to leave their comments and ideas.

This is a good opportunity to collect customers’ names and addresses for future promotions.
The ideal way to do this would be to run a competition with prizes, or to offer those who
return the questionnaires a discount if they join your loyalty programme.

Ask your customers to leave their contact details on the questionnaires and to post the
forms into a box that you have located in a prominent position in your café. You can
determine how often you need to draw a winner – once a week or once a month – from
the number of entries in the box. The prize might be a bottle of wine, for instance, or a
meal for two.

ENCOURAGING CUSTOMERS TO RETURN

The real beauty of this would be that you could write to all the other entrants, thanking them
for their comments, and telling them that you are sorry they did not win the main prize this
month, but they have won a ‘free coffee’ on their next visit, or something along those lines.
This would encourage these customers to visit your coffee shop again within a relatively short
time. It is always a good idea to give a cut-off date on any such offer; for example, within the
next 14 days. Twenty-one days is too long a time and 10 days is not long enough.

DEALING WITH NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

If you get a particularly bad customer comment, it would be worth contacting that
customer, if you have their details, to discuss the problem and to assure them that it won’t
happen again. You could also offer the customer a refund or a free lunch to make up for
their bad experience. There could be nothing worse for your new coffee shop than a
disgruntled customer telling others about their bad experience.

HOWTOINCREASEYOURBUSINESS

113

Urge customers to let you know if there is a problem so that it can be rectified, and
encourage satisfied customers to tell their friends about your shop. You will always get one
or two awkward customers; it is just a fact of dealing with the public. However, but you
can do your best to be prepared for them and know how to appease them should the
situation arise. See Chapter 9 on how to handle difficult customers.

Allow regular customers to try mini free samples of new items you

have put on your menu. You could give them a voucher for 10% off their

next purchase to encourage them back. However,put a 14-day expiry

date on the voucher so that they will return during that time.

‘I sometimes make small samples of shortbread to give out with a cup of coffee or tea.

This allows customers to try the shortbread and at the same time feel that they are
getting something free.

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