Do You Know Your Vendors & Clients Well?
Learn All Year Long in 2018
Many types of sound business policies can inspire all your dining customers and vendors. It could mean that they are well taken care of from their perspective. Phone calls, emails, newsletters, special offers, and new services, customer loyalty, referrals programs, and more are just a few of the many ways the business community at large insures every vendor and customer has their needs met. It is not just about food anymore. If you are not providing this type of service currently, you may be missing out.
Below are some special ways to make sure your customers and vendors know how valuable they are to you and your business. Serving your clients more than food is always a great idea. It's maybe the best kept secret to your success in 2018. What percentage of your clients have been dining with you since you opened. Think about that for a moment. Do you still have the same great vendors you had when you opened? These are great questions to ask.
Please remember that your customers and vendors are your lifeblood.They are the reason for keeping the menu fresh, shelves stocked, the doors open and always looking for new services. Main Auction Services believes that you, our customers, are our biggest asset. Keeping that in mind, we also believe that your must have a positive experience when you contact us. A planned positive impact is how we maintain your business, and ours in turn. It is also how we both grow. We also believe that if you are a happy positive client, you are much more inclined to recommend our business to others through word of mouth and online reviews.
Customer retention and making sure we are educated about your industry may be difficult at times, and we may not always be on the leading edge but we try our best. How? We hope to understand how to apply what we learn from your customer reviews so we can begin to turn it into customer retention. It all starts with taking customer relations seriously. And that means to you every day of the year. Main Auction Services is here for you. Main Auction Services does sell new and used restaurant equipment at auctions every month, but we are all about making sure your dining patrons are happy with the food, service, ideas, and experience they have when they come to your location to dine.
Ways To Stay In Touch With Vendors & Dining Patrons
- The first and most important is Remember This List - Unless you do something each month or every time you have contact with your vendors and dining patrons, it will do no good. Having a planned strategy every month is the beginning of developing the kind of relationship that means something for all parties concerned. If you have a marketing person who is in charge of this, then you need to meet personally with that person, get involved now and work out a way to meet, educate, greet, follow up, and then continue with a plan to learn about them as often as you can. Setting goals which include you personally goes a long way with your clients. So when they come into the restaurant they know who you are, and you know them. Taking the time to make sure they know you personally appreciate their business is a must on both fronts.
- Customer Touch Points All Year Long - Don't make it about one month or even one quarter. Vendors run a business year round, just like you, and your clients are on the receiving end of best accepted business practices that will benefit your business and revenue models as you learn about them. It's really all about you. We hear you, plan, execute and then thank you for your business.Vendors and dining patrons alike mean the best of all worlds on being successful.
- We need to be in contact with you or your delegated representative - Small courtesies can go a long way. A friendly greeting to your dining patrons is a great way to break the ice. If you come to our facility we must make sure someone is with you to answer any questions you may have. If you have several retail locations, we do recommend a top sales person on our front to make that happen. A great first impression can provide you peace of mind about each experience you have with our company. If you need to purchase restaurant equipment, set up a new kitchen, need help with a new kitchen design, or are interested in discussing ongoing planning and growing for your company, we need to talk regularly.
- It is common for us to ask you for feedback or even your input and opinion about your purchases with us here At Main Auction Services. New products, campaigns, recommendations from you are all attempts to provide to you what will be considered a success as far as you having what you need to satisfy your dining patrons. If you provide input at the decision making process to purchase, we have made it successful from the start. So, be sure to let us know if we forget something as well which will help you serve your clients better.
- Remember social media postings on a regular basis, newsletters, and a thank you go a long way toward better customer relations. We encourage participation and leveraging technology on your behalf will benefit both of us. Point of sale contact for benefits everyone, and polling for more information each time we see you is our best bet at keeping ourselves educated about your special needs for your industry at large. Foodservice, restaurant equipment manufacturers, and sourcing new companies are all part of that process for sure. Cafe's, restaurants, school cafeteria's, hospitals, institutional settings are all what you make them on a day by day, month by month basis.
- Set up a recommendation box at your front desk or point of sale and hold a drawing for a coupon or freebie to encourage participation. Post a poll on social media to see what types of new foods or cultures will most interest your customers. For your vendors maybe new ways to provide you with quality products is going to be fun. Sourcing for the future means job security for all parties. Seasonal menus are built on such sourcing.
- What type of experience do you have when making purchases with us? By creating an experience with you by having meetings, classes, projects, or DIY projects are a few ways to organize creativity for you and for our business in meeting your needs as our client. Keeping our sales department aware of your specific needs mean we understand what matters to you as well as what will be required in order for us to continue to meet that need. As consumers of restaurant equipment and foodservice products, we continue to value each of our experiences with you, and thereby results in your food prep activity which will demonstrate you understand what matters to them when they come to dine in your restaurant, institution, or cafe.
- Connect with your audience as often and in as many ways as you can. Social Media is hot right now. Customer Appreciation recognition is easy and very cost effective when you set up a schedule to connect with your main audience. Asking your customers for photos, videos, MP3's and new brochures they print means that customers to share their photos and videos involving your services or products with a unique hashtag relating to your business. Business card drawings, cook offs, community bulletin boards, and competition between area chefs are all great ways to connect with your community. What better way to connect than to share a meal or have a drink and snacks together at the end of a long day? Making a first time vendor or customer a regular, is after all the end goal.
- Be sure to keep your contacts engaged with new and diverse menu items and dining experiences, and that you encourage customers to spread the word about your business by sharing photos or videos with their social networks.
- Remember to reward customer loyalty at every turn. If they refer clients to you, send them a gift card to a favorite restaurant or business as an example. Whatever you do, keep it simple. Most business owners belong to more than one program, less is more in this case. Easy to participate, easy to understand, and track participation for thank you notes for new clients they bring.
- Be sure to encourage referrals, which are different than simply loyalty clients. If you don't serve swordfish, find out who does, and send your client there when they call to make party reservations. Rewards for friends and family's that do refer new potential clients to you can participate in things that are considered low tech like coupons on newsletters, retention offers, bonus items for new contracts are just a few options you may not have thought of.
- Business is seasonal for everyone. Learn who your customers are means knowing their peak seasons and planning customer touch points around those seasons. Chilled wine, special cocktails at company meetings, and even a cup of coffee on a cold morning for a quick meeting are possible. By supplying the best of the best you keep restaurant goers coming back for more.
- Make your customers dollars they spend with you go as far as it can. Your best clients need to be expressing a positive attitude about doing business with you. Paying for a product, meal or service is critical in daily activity and is a great cause of interest. If you are giving back to the community perhaps it could be directed to something your client told you about or that they think is important.
- Step Up at the right time. Please remember that the normal business cycle has ups and downs. If low points are reached in your clients communities maybe you can help by stepping in to support them in a particular manner; you have gained an ally. Lending a hand for local relief efforts may spur them to see you in a different light and offer a symbol of hope to something you believe is important to their industry or community where they do business.
- Flexible should be your middle name in business. The second point of contact, needs to be as positive as the first has been. Keeping your eye on the ball for your company and for your vendors and dining clients both, is critical to success for both parties involved. Make sure return issues are resolved to their satisfaction, and be sure to replace the return with the right product that is functioning properly.
Now that you are reminded about so many practical ways to work with your customers and vendors remember that simply put, building customer and vendor relationships often means being aware of their feelings and of their each individual/specific needs. Needs meeting needs, is and always has been an easy way to differentiate you from the pack. Never forget your clients keep your business running. Small or large makes no difference; it's about long term satisfaction. If you have 100 people or suppliers who come to your restaurant and you have been in business 20 years, how many of those 100 have been your client the whole time? Make that your goal for this new year. Keep your vendors and support them, and keep your regular diners and customers year over year.
Keeping a solid core base of suppliers and clients that will never be able to find the type of customer service they have with you anywhere else. Seriously, who can compete with that? In today's world it is all about identifying needs, educating yourself and your client, and understanding the economic benefits of meeting those needs all year long. They know your support matters and respect your business ethics and practices. It doesn't get any better than this.
Call us today at any of our 3 locations in Texas: 1718 West Main Street • Grand Prairie, Texas 75050 • 972-642-0513,
12922 Hempstead Hwy • Houston, Texas 77040 • 713-690-1231,
.2100 E Union Bower Road • Irving, Texas 75061 • 972-579-4612.
Whether you need to buy or sell one piece, or the contents of an entire restaurant, Main Auction Services is your resource for late-model restaurant, bakery and bar equipment. Call today to speak with a restaurant equipment specialists.