Every coffee business of almost any type (even the unsuccessful ones) manages to generate some fiercely loyal customers. These customers very often visit every day and sometimes will visit several times a day. Occasionally they can be irritating and offer you all sorts of advice that you could easily do without. But ignore them at your peril because most of us never sit down to calculate just how important these people are to our business and to our own ability to pay the mortgage!
I learnt this to my cost when I was to busy opening new businesses and ignoring the concerns of one key long term customer in my last coffee shop. The story is fully documented in our book but only when I lost these customers to a competitor (now client) did I calculate just how much money they brought into the business every week, month and year. More than enough to pay my mortgage for a two months.
Of course your circumstances will be different and your mortgage payments will be at different levels but you’ll still have those same key customers who represent a huge amount of your turnover and ultimately profit.
So here’s the question…
- What did you do for your “mortgage customers” this Christmas as a thankyou?
- What did you do to make sure they stay loyal to you this year?
- What did you do to make them feel special?
Do you buy them anything? A little gift, or a few free coffees? Maybe a free lunch or perhaps some vouchers? Or did you even take the time to look them squarely in the eye and say “Thankyou – I really appreciate your business and hope you’ll be with us as much next year”
My guess is that you didn’t. Because so few people do. We get so caught up in running the business and making sure that we prepare for our own Christmas that we forget who it is that is actually paying for our Christmas and that of our team.
So make sure that in the new year you do something a little extra for those top 20% of your customers. It’s an awful lot easier to look after an existing customer than it is to try and get new ones.
So with that myself and Hugh would like to thank all our clients and everyone who bought our book. It has been an amazing success and we currently sit at number 20 on Amazon for business strategy. It is consistently the highest selling book on running coffee bars and we are delighted that so many people have enjoyed it. It’s been a great year for us and we will be doing a lot more speaking next year so hopefully we’ll see you at some of these events.