Features of a Successful Business

Why do people flock to other people’s business and not others? Have you ever asked yourself that question?

Yesterday I went into the city for a meeting and decided to take a look around after it finished.  I was walking down The Block Arcade, off Collins Street and saw a whole group of people congregating outside a shop. Of course this pricked my interest so I went to see what they were doing, in case I was missing out on a bargain.  What I found astounded me. There was no big group, but smaller groups of 2-4 people standing in a long queue which was roped off by a beautifully twined red rope and the people  were merely patiently waiting for a table at the café. This seemed unbelievable when there were so many café’s all over the city, and good ones too, especially as Melbourne has the reputation for being the café capital. 

#1 of a Successful Business – Great Productscakes in shop window

So what was this café doing differently to all the other amazing coffee houses that surrounded it? On closer inspection of the shop window I then realised that many other people were not queuing but were standing and staring at the produce in the shop window.  The window was full of amazing cakes, each piece a showcase of its own.  The garnishes were perfect the cream precisely twirled and the edges of each piece was glistening as if  sprinkled with fairly dust.  Never in my life have I ever seen such perfectly baked and decorated cakes and pastry items, it was just amazing.

While I was standing there ogling at all the delights, I started chatting to the woman standing next to me, she had come to Melbourne for a sporting event and was from Brisbane, she told me that every year when her and her husband came to Melbourne they always came to this cafe, they knew they would have to queue, but that didn’t worry them, it was the experience they loved so much, it was a tradition and they loved it.

#2 of a Successful Business- Great Service

I stood over the other side of the Arcade just watching the queue, and I realised it was not just the amazing food that bought these people here, it was the service these people got while queuing.  There was an employee managing the door, she was taking out food samples on a silver tray for the patrons to try while they were still in the queue.  She continued chatting warmly to the patrons and making them feel welcome even before they had taken a step inside.

The success of this business was not only the amazing food, but the customer service too.  It was incredible, it made the patrons feel welcome and special, you see it was not about what they produced, even though it was sensational, it is always about the way the cafe made everyone feel who came to this wonderful place.

Customer service is the most important key to business, it has the power to either make or break you.  If your customers feel welcome and cared about by you then they are much more likely to use your services again, refer you to their friends and they will be loyal to you.  They will queue up in line for you, but you must provide the service first and be the best you possibly can be.

When does it go wrong?

How many times have you sat in restaurants or café’s and after your main order you have been ignored, no one has come back to ask about refill drinks or seen if you would like something else?

I was in a real hurry one day when I ordered a smoothie from a shop, I asked how long it would take before I ordered and was told about 10 minutes which was ok.  While I was waiting I noticed the young girls were having a great time gossiping about their social lives rather than working, the queue was getting longer and longer, after 10 minutes I asked how long it would be and was told it was another 10 minutes, I then cancelled my order and asked for my money back, the girl was really put out because of the confusion it would create in the till.  I left feeling disappointed and angry, I had been let down and made to feel like a nuisance.  I will never go into this store again. I will never recommend it to anyone and I will not be their biggest fan.  This is not the experience you want your customers to have.

How to turn your Business around?

Raving fans can become the life blood of a business, they are the ones that bring everyone else in, just by telling everyone how good you are.   We have all asked friends if they know of a good accountant, doctor, physio, or masseur and either had them rave about how good theirs is or just answer “yeah mine is alright”.  If someone you trust raves then you trust their opinion of the person or service you are seeking and because of your friends recommendation you have no fear to try them.  This is exactly the type of customer you want in your business, one that will shout your praises and increase your clientele because you are so good.

It never hurts to review and reassess your product. How does it look, how does it work? Does it meet your customers wants and needs. Ask yourself how can you make your customers feel special, what can you do for them that they will love.  How can you go above and beyond so your customers love you and rave about you.  What is it that you have to do, so you are the best in your field and everyone has to queue up to see you.

– Lorene Roberts

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