A Successful Cafe Stems From a Great Customer Experience

In today’s day and age where businesses are striving for success, keeping your customers happy is the utmost priority. This especially holds true if you run a business in the service industry, and even more so if it happens to be a cafe. From updating your menu to retaining your quality, and from offering an exceptional taste to providing memorable service, you need to make sure that you and your cafe are doing everything to satisfy your customers in order to be successful.

All of this has a lot to do with the level of competition in the industry. With over 14,300 locations in the U.S., Starbucks alone has more spots than McDonald’s in the country. Add the thousands of specialty coffee shops to the mix, and you have got yourself a saturated market where there’s a cafe on every corner. This means that if your coffee shop isn’t giving your customers what they want, they have a plethora of other options to choose from rather easily. That’s why running a successful cafe largely depends on how you cope with the challenges that are thrown at you every single day, and how you translate your difficulties into a great service for your customers.

That’s where the importance of customer experience for a cafe comes into the picture. 

The term itself relates to a business’ overall level of service to a customer, and how that service and related interactions make the customer feel with each transaction.  

The same principle applies when it comes to a cafe’s customer experience to its customers. Here, the factors regarding taste, variety, and quality are all part of customer experience. But with it, you also have to make sure that you are providing exceptional service to complete your value proposition to your target market. 

Simply put, customer experience for a coffee shop goes far beyond one factor. It is a combination of various aspects that are part of your customer’s impression of interacting with your coffee shop. If your cafe provides its customers with enough reasons to term it as a positive place to deal with on a daily basis, then you are successful in achieving your goal. If not, then your customer experience needs significant improvements to satisfy your patrons.

In turn, providing your target market with exceptional customer experience for a cafe can benefit your business by a large margin. You are able to build a customer base that is loyal to your business. You are fit to enjoy repeat business from the same clients. And you are able to enjoy the benefits of consistent business growth. These are just a few of the advantages that you can enjoy by ensuring a great customer experience for your customers. 

With that being said, we understand how difficult it can be to use customer experience as a crucial tool for your cafe. One small misstep can keep you from achieving the full effects of your efforts, while bigger mistakes can take you down for good. Keeping this in mind, we are here to outline how you can harness the power of designing an exceptional customer experience for a coffee shop, and use it to run a successful cafe of your own.

It Retains Your Customers

Thanks to the growing competition around the cafe industry, it is not hard to understand the difficulties that your coffee shop faces on a day to day basis. Even if you currently identify as a successful business, keeping that status is nothing short of a feat with the other local as well multinational cafes running right beside you in the race to take your crown away. All they are waiting for is your coffee shop to make a few mistakes, and they can very well nab your business right under your nose.

This is not some highly thought out exaggeration. According to PwC, 59% of U.S. customers are ready to cut ties from their preferred brand after a few bad experiences, regardless of the consequences that led to those instances. Globally, 32 percent of customers are ready to go down this route of abandonment just after a single bad experience. That by itself is enough to define to you how cutthroat today’s business industry has become, with the observation aptly applying to coffee shops.

Maintaining a great customer experience for a cafe is a very easy way to mitigate the risk of losing your customers. When customers have consistent experiences that leave them with a pleasant feeling as well as positive memories of your business, they do not have any reason to consider switching to another coffee shop. This way, you can retain your customer base on a consistent basis and ensure that you are not losing out to your competitors by any means. 

Even in the face of competition, this is a very simple yet effective way of staying on top of your game instead of struggling to stay afloat. Since you are able to retain most of the customers who walk through your doors, your revenues stay consistent and your growth remains on an upward trend. 

But apart from just keeping your customers from switching to another coffee shop, an exceptional customer experience also helps them see the value of choosing your cafe as their primary stop for their daily cup of joe. 

It Builds Loyalty

According to McKinsey, providing an exceptional customer experience for a coffee shop is the key to building a more loyal customer base

Much like other experts on the matter, the company defines customer experience as an amalgamation of various aspects rather than a single factor. The experts at the consulting firm mention that customer experience isn’t built within a single day, but through multiple instances of catering to the customer’s needs. Similarly, a single transaction with your business isn’t just dependent on one factor. It is actually a small journey towards the customer’s goal with many touchpoints of its own.

This means that when a customer comes to your coffee shop, getting their caffeine fix is their primary goal, but it is not the only one. Buying coffee is one of many small segments of their larger transactions with your business. If the quality of the coffee you sell is according to their expectations, then it fulfills one of several aspects that go into defining their experience with your business. Other factors such as your staff’s attitude, your location’s ambiance, and the speed and level of service also go a long way in defining the customer experience for a cafe for them.

If you continue fulfilling the requirements of these touchpoints with the level of quality and service that your customers expect from you, it increases the chances of building your customers’ loyalty towards your cafe. The more you continue on this path, the better the loyalty you gather from your existing customer base. Instead of going to other coffee shops and trying what they have to offer here and there, your customers prefer coming to you for their daily cup of joe as well as any other products that you offer to them. 

Once again, the benefits of offering a great customer experience for a coffee shop do not stop at building a long term customer base. Among other advantages, they also contribute to growing your business over the long term. 

It Grows Your Business Overtime

When you excel at providing a refined customer experience to each and every one of your patrons, it shows them the value of visiting or ordering from your cafe every day. 

The level of quality that you maintain among your products and the service that you provide through your staff leaves a lasting impression. This also encourages your customers to tell others about the great experience that they have had, and brings in more business for your cafe.

In the age of social media, a single post is all it takes is for your customers to project your business’ image to their social circle. If you continue providing them with a positive experience, these posts could sing praises of your coffee, and increase your chances of getting new customers just because you maintain a customer experience for a cafe.

The effects of this particular strategy are gradual yet certain. According to Nielsen, a whopping 92 percent of customers believe the reviews that come from their friends and family in comparison to those that come through an advertisement. This means that they would rather take the word of someone they know personally than someone who is an influencer or a third-party reviewer even on an established platform.

If you ensure to provide your regular patrons with a consistent level of great customer experience, you can reap the benefits of growing your business through them. They might bring in friends or family to your coffee shop from time to time, or simply refer them to your cafe through a shoutout on social media. Either way, having satisfied or loyal customers who trust your business play a significant role in the growth of your business. If you go above and beyond to ensure great customer experience, they naturally respond to your efforts through referrals. 

In a way, this is the customers’ way of paying you back for your great service. In other cases, this is just a way for them to earn some brownie points among their social circle by referring to their friends or family to a place that offers great customer experience for a coffee shop.

When speaking of positive reviews, you of course cannot ignore the negative ones. By ensuring an excellent customer experience for a cafe, you can also steer clear of negative publicity that’s generated by dissatisfied customers. 

It Prevents Negative Publicity

While positive word of mouth marketing works wonders for your business, customers who have had a negative experience with your coffee shop are more likely to share their account with others than those who have had a pleasant interaction with it. 

You can easily notice this trend in the many Facebook and Twitter posts you may see on your newsfeed everyday. You may also observe this in your everyday conversation with your friends and family, where a negative experience has more possibility of becoming a topic of discussion than a positive instance of interacting with a business. 

When someone has a positive customer experience from their visit to your coffee shop, the last thing they have on their mind is to give you a negative review. Instead, they become prone to visiting your business again, whether they do it alone or with a group of family and friends. Being provided by a consistently impressive customer experience for a coffee shop only reinforces their positive opinion. As a result, you can enjoy rave reviews that help you get the most out of your business and its target audience. 

This aspect of managing your business’ reputation through customer experience is far better than trying to remove customer reviews from the internet and putting out the fires of negative publicity left, right and center. It doesn’t cost you a lot of money, and the investment you make into your products and employees helps you in scaling your business. This provides you with long term and substantial results that lead you to run a successful cafe, in comparison to short term removal of negative reviews that would pop up on the internet sooner or later anyway. 

If you maintain your path with this tried and tested suggestion in mind, you will not only ensure a great customer experience for a cafe, but also keep negative reviews and publicity at bay. All in all, it will go a long way in helping you scale your business, while also ensuring optimal customer satisfaction.

Overall, providing a great customer experience for a coffee shop holds many benefits that are crucial to the success of your cafe. If you want to run a successful cafe that drives consistent revenues for you and your employees, then ensuring the customer experience is the way to achieve that goal.

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