In peak periods, such as the festive season, companies are doing their utmost to stand out for consumers who have money to spend. Some experts say that marketing is the most important factor during peak times, while others believe that customer service is the key to drawing more feet to stores. Whichever tactics are utilised, everyone agrees that the customer should be at the centre of what a business does to encourage people to choose their product or store above any other competitor. Managing Executive of The Fish & Chip Co, Marcel Strauss, explains how they are putting themselves in their consumers’ shoes to understand their needs better.
Thinking like the customer all starts with being consumer-centric. This concept allows the organisation’s resources to align and respond to the ever-changing needs of customers effectively, while still building mutually profitable relationships.
One of the many important needs that a customer has, when it comes to buying products, especially food, is quality. The average consumer is willing to spend more money on food that is of a superior standard and therefore it is important to talk about the quality and freshness of the food you offer. For the majority of consumers, efficient and prompt service is also a major concern, which can only be achieved with well-trained, efficient and sufficient staff.
At The Fish & Chip Co. we have found that the following principles have served us well and they can easily be adapted to work in other businesses:
- Start with your staff. Train them to manage their interpersonal relationships and body language so that when a consumer walks into your store, they feel welcome before a word has even been spoken.
- Remember and understand that franchising rules, regulations and policies were designed to enable the consumer to do business with you. Know when and how to challenge the business to ensure the consumers’ expectations are met at all times.
- Always remember that when consumers have a problem, they will tell more people than they would have if they were happy with your food and service. Therefore make it your priority to always look for the best solution that fits your customers’ needs.
- Every single staff member needs to know that they impact the kind of service a consumer will receive when they enter the store. It is therefore important to keep employees motivated and aware of the vital role that they play in the business.
- Take note of your regular consumers. Although it is impossible to remember each person who comes into your store, make an effort to pay attention to regular customers to establish an even better relationship.
A vital element to ensuring consumer-centricity is communication. By communicating with customers on a regular basis, you will not only build better relationships, but also understand their needs better. Keep your consumers informed of promotions and any news happening in your store, including your community involvement.
At the end of the day, the store that listens and acts on what the consumer wants, is the one that will win their hearts and their buy-in. Being consumer-centric really starts with the question, “what would my consumer want?”
Opinion piece shared by PR Worx.