Expectations of a New Year

Many times the start of a new year brings thoughts of change. Recreating what you have been doing to make it more exciting or different. You may wish to redesign your retail room but have you thought about redesigning the experience you present to visitors?

The wintertime, when things are usually a little slower, is a great time to plan a redesign of your visitor experience. The experience consumers have in your business leads to the perceptions those consumers take with them at the end of their visit. When the experience is positive, usually a purchase is made and even if the consumer does not purchase at that time, they will leave wanting to return and will offer a positive picture of your business to others.

Most of us have expectations. It’s a rare person that doesn’t walk into a situation with a full set of expectations. If these expectations are not met, they lead to disappointment. As Chip Conley (founder of the Joie de Vivre Hotels) said, “Disappointment = Expectations minus Reality.” So even when your customers’ expectations have no grounding in reality, they will still be disappointed if these expectations are not met.

The easiest way to meet customer expectations is to put your customers first. It’s not about your products, it about their needs. Ask your customers questions about themselves, their likes and dislikes and what is important to them in relation to your company and products.

Be friendly and interested in what customers have to say and think about how the information you now have can help you meet their needs, wants and expectations.

Create a plan for how you want your hospitality/sales staff to interact with the customers and remember that food service has to start at the top. The way management treats employees is the way employees treat customers. A chain of positive interactions from owner to managers, from manager to staff, from staff to customers at every touch point leads to the meeting and exceeding of expectations.

Meeting and exceeding your customers’ expectations leads to sales.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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