Business and Operations
Five ways to delight and win customers: Making Dough with Diane
By Diane Chiasson
Pizza shops are popping up all over the country. With the constant growth of the pizza industry and revenue opportunities, you need to set yourself apart from your competition. But how can your small pizzeria distinguish itself beyond making the best pizza in your hometown?
You should ask yourself if your customers are happy. Delivery of great customer service means all of your customers are treated with respect. Take a look at these five ideas for delighting your current customers and winning over new customers.
1. Be kind, be friendly and genuinely welcome each guest to your place
As a pizzeria owner, you know that being kind to your customers has lasting effects. As well, you surely know by now that to succeed in the marketplace you need to have that personal touch. It goes without saying that you should always greet your customers with a big smile when they come through your door. You can help clear the path for the personal touch by using your customer’s name. In a study published in Brain Research magazine, certain parts of our brain light up when we hear our own name. It’s been proven over and over again that there is no word we love to hear more than our own name. You should consistently use your customer’s name throughout the conversation. It will make your interaction more personal and it will be interpreted as being caring, thoughtful and empathic. Tell you staff to always be attentive by listening to feedback and by taking notes to make sure that they understand what their customers want.
Respectful and kind employees will always make customers feel welcome and will create the foundation for a long-term relationship. Always listen and understand your customers’ needs, never raise your voice, even under pressure, and have a big smile when serving them. How about training your staff to offer a real, genuine welcome they would offer to their own guests in their own home.
2. Express a true interest and get personal
Great customer service involves more than just checking in with customers and solving their issues. You should always try to go above and beyond by creating or offering something awesome to remind your guests why they love your pizzeria, and a little personal attention goes a long way. I suggest you train your staff to engage customers in meaningful conversation about what they are seeking so they can offer strong and effective recommendations. Are they looking for something for a future party, a birthday or a special celebration? Customer service involves more than just speaking with your customers, and you will quickly find out that a little personal attention goes a long way. Don’t just leave them with an oversized menu: make suggestions and recommendations, and point out what they might want.
3. Make your employees experts
Your staff should be able to remember more than just a list of pizza names. They should talk about the history of your pizzeria, the flavours of each pizza, the preparation, taste, unique ingredients, special room decorations, and exceptional celebration themes. As a pizzeria owner, you need to take on the role of the friendly, neighbourhood shop where customers always feel welcome. Try to go above and beyond by creating something awesome to remind your customers why they love your place so much.
4. Keep consistency king
If you want to keep your customers happy, you need to be consistent in providing quality services. If you want to succeed all the time, consistency matters. It’s not just from one pizza to the next but also from one store location to the next. When your customers like your pizza pies, they want to be able to get the same exact thing again and again. And they want it to taste and look the same as it did last time. I mean that – exactly the same. Scales and recipes are your best friends.
As you know, staff turnover is a major challenge for pizza operators. Serving good-quality pizzas is a highly technical skill that takes a lot of training, and it’s always challenging to ensure the consistency of product when staff members are changing. Investing in staff training on whatever equipment system you use and monitoring the quality of your products is essential. You need to have regularly scheduled meetings with your team members in order to share any new ideas or receive feedback that might help to increase customer satisfaction. Don’t forget that when your team works together, they provide consistently good quality served in the same way every single time. Learning how to make and keep your customers happy is critical to ensuring the success and longevity of your pizza business.
5. Involve your customers in new pizza offerings
Perhaps you are thinking of adding or changing out a few of your pizzas. Use your social media pages to interact with your customers and get information from them. Why not ask your customers what they want by posting questions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. This is an excellent way to get them involved. It’s also easy to increase your sales when you find out what your customers want in the first place. You could even have a contest and name your next pizzas after your customers’ suggestions. You can be sure it will bring them back along with their friends. Ask your customers to write reviews and give ratings on your service and your pizzeria products.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping food service, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing food service and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or email@example.com, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com