Improve perceptions of your business without changing your prices.
Nine out of ten customers are more value-conscious today than they were two years ago, according to operators polled in the NRA’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Customers expect more for their money, and with more dining options and competition than ever, people feel empowered to be more discerning with their dollars. The businesses that exceed customer expectations on price, taste, quality and service will stand out when it comes to delivering value and earning customers’ business.
The necessity of quality food cannot be overstated, but you can elevate your business’ value by looking beyond the menu for ways to make your customer’s experience better.
This doesn’t have to be a big undertaking. Several small shifts in details can go a long way, such as offering bottomless bread and rolls or chips, increasing the amount of seating in the waiting area and elevating the quality of the ingredients used in existing dishes. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to shift business policies to make the lives of customers better. Call ahead seating, kids eat free nights, loyalty reward programs, free or minimal cost valet and other business shifts can improve customer perceptions and loyalty. Although, these can take a bit more time to implement.
The most important thing businesses can do to improve their value, however, is listen. What are your customers’ most common requests? What can you do now to show you’re listening, and what can be done in the future? You don’t have to guess what your customers want. Look for cues from them, and sometimes, just ask. Remember, if you ask, you should also be prepared to act upon what you hear.
Improving the value of your business in the eyes of consumers doesn’t need to start with slashing prices. In a hyper competitive market, value can take the form of making the lives of customers just a bit better and a little easier. That can be the sole differentiator when it comes to improving customer relationships and driving positive customer referrals.