I recently visited Stratford upon Avon and learnt a lot about marketing and Customer Care.
OK , so some of it wasn’t new but what I observed did reinforce a lot of what I teach others every day. Stratford, with its Shakespearean connections, is a tourist centre so is busy all year around with tourists coming from over 200 countries. So you could argue it doesn’t have to try too hard to satisfy visitors as many will never return anyway. But Stratford businesses seem not to think like that.
What i encountered was some of the best customer service I’ve seen in the UK, or anywhere else, for years. Shop staff were very friendly and helpful and this was remarkable as it is so lacking in many places. Of course it should be standard for any business. After all a smile costs nothing but can win a sale!
The staff in the Stratford shops smiled a lot. When I payed for items they asked if I had found everything I was after and when, in one shop I said no, sent someone to find the item I wanted. that cost them nothing but resulted in another sale for them. It is a bit like McDonalds “Do you want fries with that” question. It costs nothing but increases sales.
Now I’m not a lover of fast food or fast coffee but Stratford didn’t disappoint here either. Learn more about that this on my post entitled How Coffee Shops Can Sell More and Make More Profit.
My trip to Stratford was made on a cold but sunny winter day when the number of tourists was low … but I did see one group of at least 100 Chinese people and wondered how much they spent locally. The great thing is Stratford recognised that keeping tourists and locals happy is the key to profit and that it doesn’t cost anything but courtesy to achieve this.
A recent trip to Stratford upon Avon made me think about How Coffee Shops, Restaurants, Pubs and Hotels Can Sell More and Make More Profit.
Like everywhere else Stratford has its fair share of Coffee shops. Chains like Starbucks, Costa etc seem to be everywhere and to be honest I detest them. What other business would make you queue to place an order and pay for it and then expect you to stand and wait even longer to be given the coffee before you even find a table?
So when out I look for somewhere where they value customers enough to provide customer service. I look for a coffee shop where there is some atmosphere, where I can go in and get a table and someone will come and take my order, bring my coffee and at the end take my payment …. all with a few friendly words and a smile.
The thing is these places recognise that not everyone wants the formulaic “American” type chain coffee shop where everything is preceded by a queue. And this doesn’t just apply to older people. The coffee shop i went to, despite being in a Tudor building is modern enough to attract young people. In fact at one stage I was the oldest person there!
And it isn’t just about the absence of queues. The customer service is better in other ways, the waitress asked if we’d like a cake, sandwich or scrumptious desert with our coffee (upselling) and was generally pleasant. What more she was very young .. but didn’t give the typical service so many young people give .. she had been trained by the business.
Asking questions that sell and being trained don’t have to cost much .. if anything but a small amount of time. However they make more profit for any business.
So what makes this business stand out. They recognised their USPs (unique selling points) as being service, a smile and a few questions .. but no queues. It made a point of difference and differentiated them from their competitors.
The coffee shop that made my day, in Stratford upon Avon, was called Hathaways Tea Rooms and made enough impression on me to recommend them to you!