As a consumer, I don't like feeling like I've been ripped off as I felt this morning. So, I decided to write a list of tips for cafe owners. It really doesn't take a lot to keep customers happy but if you don't offer a solution once a problem has been pointed out, I'm afraid you are going to lose customers. Quickly.
I visited a cafe in Kenmore and paid top dollar for a cup of coffee and an almond croissant. I'm no expert on cooking but that croissant was pretty hard to bite into. Other times I've ordered a croissant it has been melting in my mouth down right delicious. So when I pointed this inconsistency out to the waiter (the same guy who took my order) he shrugged his shoulders and replied 'it was cooked today'. I said that maybe it had been overcooked as it didn't have a softness to it. I had paid $5 for this delight and I expected it to be - like a soft fresh croissant. What was his response? A shrugging of the shoulders as his back quickly turned my way.
Cafe owners: there are hundreds of cafes around. Business is tight. Customers have oodles to choose from. If you take my tips on board just maybe you will keep a new customer (like me).
MY 5 TOP TIPS
1. Listen to what your customer has to say. I'm sure they're not talking for the heck of it, especially if it is a complaint. 2. We may not always be right, but we feel valued if we have been heard. 3. Offer value for money. A simple coffee is up around the $4 mark and add another $5 for a croissant.... it all adds up. 4. Please realise cafe owners that many people are on tight budgets and $10 is a lunch somewhere else. 5. Be polite. Your customers are your business, your bread and butter. 6. Offer a solution, e.g. a free coffee voucher would have been enough for me to want to re-visit this shop and give it another go but when you're defensive, shrug your shoulders and walk away from me, I vow never to set foot in your shop again. Ever.
I've read that consumers need to see an advertisement 8 times before they will try a new business or product out. Of course a cut price special would probably have the same effect in perhaps a shorter space of time. There is little doubt that cafe businesses are very competitive so I hope anyone reading this takes these tips on board. At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel satisfied.