by Casio UK
With over 7,300 independent coffee shops in Britain and a further 1,300 outlets forecast to open by 2023, coffee culture is sweeping across the country. However, with 23,000 coffee shops in Britain overall, the need for independent shops to drive customer footfall and loyalty has never been more important. Whether this involves schemes such as a reward system, or simply getting to know your customers better, independents need to do all they can to ensure that customers choose their venue for their morning or afternoon coffee.
A long-standing method of driving repeat visits, loyalty stamps and cards are still a great way to get customers returning again and again. Simply offer customers a card or stamp, depending how traditional your customers are, are let the reward points grow as they return.
However, as the retail and hospitality world become more digitalised, it’s important that operators find ways to make the loyalty/reward system work that bit harder. Our V-R200 system has a built-in coffee shop loyalty function, meaning a customer’s receipt will automatically stamp every time a purchase is made, rather than using the traditional way of physically stamping. The operator can also change how a customer earns a stamp, customising the loyalty scheme to their need. Once a customer has a required number of stamps the till will then print a voucher that can be redeemed. Owners can add their store logo or any artwork they wish to the receipt. This functionality offers an automatic and speedy way for customers to build their reward points (and loyalty to the venue) with minimal effort.
A refillable coffee mug offer is another great way to keep customers returning for more, again and again. This can be a simple, yet very effective scheme, whereby customers can be offered a discount on their coffee if they bring their own refillable mug. As well as an effective way to drive customer loyalty, it can also work in bringing new customers on board. The eco-friendly advantage to the scheme is likely to attract younger customers, who are frequently choosing to spend their money with responsible businesses. As a result, it’s great PR for your business, as well as ensuring that the loyalty of existing customers continues to grow.
Winning customer service
It goes without saying that great customer service is key to the success of any customer facing brand. But how many of us have walked into a coffee shop and the service has ruined the whole experience? It’s crucial that customers not only love your products, but love your overall brand. Delivering a great experience in your venue will achieve this and keep them coming back for more.
However, to ensure lasting customer loyalty, operators need to go that bit further than simple politeness. One way to do this is through improving communication with customers and supporting them during their purchase. This can be as simple as offering them a heat protector or even asking them about their day. As a result, customers are more likely to associate positively with your brand and keep coming back for more.
Share what’s great about your business
Social media is a key channel in making sure your business is on the map. By having a social media presence, you will be able to take control of how you are perceived and offer customers a glimpse of what your business stands for. With nearly 15 million images tagged coffeeshop on Instagram, it’s the perfect platform to debut your coffee shop. Posting some edgy and cool latte art is a great way to build your followers, and even images with a single hashtag getting, on average, 12.6% more engagements than those without, posting regularly is key. Social media is also a perfect route for advertising your offers, menu items and showing your followers a behind the scenes look at running a busy, independent coffee shop.