Wed, 21 Nov 2018
Last week I walked into my favourite café and sang, ‘And now the end is near…’ My favourite café owner laughed, and made my favourite hot chocolate. Drew (he of the long sideburns and jocular disposition) is shutting up shop. This is going to have an impact on my life, so I thought I’d overshare on ‘this’ and talk you through my genuine sadness.
Drew is a nice bloke. Sometimes he locks me out of the café and laughs while I keep trying to get through the door. He often throws verbal abuse my way (in a good-natured way). He is married to Sarah and they have two adopted Labrador dogs – Jack recently broke his leg and needed to go for walks in a twin buggy. Drew loves cycling, and is prone to sleeping on the couch by the fire when it’s cold. He’s one of those trendy blokes who wears a different t-shirt every day. They have funny littles sayings about fried eggs or amusing little made-up brands.
I’ve got to know Drew quite well over the last year of 5-minute exchanges when I pop in to buy my daily hot chocolate. For me it’s a respite from the office and time for a bit of banter. Often there’s other people in the café and we all have a chat. I joke with one regular that he should be paying rent as he’s always sat with his laptop and coffee ‘working’ for hours at a time. He tells me Drew’s WiFi is better than the one in his office.
So, why am I writing about Drew and his best-ever hot chocolate in the whole wide world (did I mention the hot chocolate)? Because Drew and I have a shared connection that’s been created in an environment where he is the seller and I am the customer, and the small transaction that occurs on a daily basis has impacted on my life in a tremendously positive way. Drew has made me part with $4.50 every working day for a year, and I haven’t minded handing over that money at all. Why? Because we had a laugh and he makes a great drink which never fails to brighten my day.
Let’s look at this from a marketing viewpoint. Do your customers look forward to hearing from you? Do they like spending money with you or do they see it as a grudge purchase? Do you have a relationship with all of your customers? Any of your customers? Do you ever make someone’s day in a business capacity? When you talk to customers, are you relevant to them? Are you telling them things they want to hear?
I found another excellent example of someone understanding my needs from the clever bods at Amazon.com, who know all about my Kindle reading habits through my online purchases. You couldn’t get further removed from my local café customer service when you look at the omnipresent brand that is Amazon, and yet surprisingly they have much in common when it comes to keeping me happy.
I have a handful of authors who are my go-to storytellers, so imagine how delighted I was when Amazon.com started sending me emails informing me that a new book had just arrived by one of these writers. Brilliant! How else would I know? I gave up on bricks and mortar book stores long ago when I discovered you couldn’t buy a paperback for less than $45. When I did shop offline, I would see at first-hand new releases, but now everything comes to me in one little email. The message is succinct and it’s perfectly tailored to my choice of crime/who dunnit author. I don’t get annoyed that Amazon is invading my privacy, I’m grateful. In fact, I usually text a mate who also likes the same nonsense I read to give her a heads up (what a great brand advocate I am). It makes my day to hear a new book is out, and what makes it even better is that I can order it from the comfort of my bed (books should be read when horizontal), at a fraction of the cost I’d pay at a traditional bookseller’s shop.
Customer relevancy! There, finally I get to my point. Keep your messaging relevant. Don’t fob your customers off with a blanket approach – ladies how annoyed do you get when you are constantly bombarded with emails offering erectile dysfunction treatments?
If you can’t make your customer smile, provide informative messaging or give them a compelling offer, then keep quiet. Or talk to us about creating a relevant dialogue with them.
PS For those of you who are interested, Drew is now focusing on selling his blend of coffee beans to offices throughout NZ after successfully creating and developing the Mr Smith brand at his café Blend.
PPS Can anyone recommend a good hot chocolatier in Eden Terrace?