Tuesday
Jan102017

Why your point of difference could be killing your business

Why is it that one store does well, yet another one bombs? it may come down to a few minor details.

There are 3 cafe's open on a particular suburb we visit on a Sunday morning. We discovered that particular stretch of road when we were looking for a bank that accepted incoming cheques via the ATM - but we won't go there just at the moment. Anyway that particular discovery led us to finding the three cafe's.

We have no particular loyalty when it comes to cafe's, but they do need some things in common if they want to retain our business. 
  • good coffee
  • reasonably priced food
  • newspapers and lots of them and
  • prompt correct service
If they've got shade / weather proofed seating for outside and staff who remember your order, then that's a big bonus. But it is a rare occurrence in the cafe world, even those we frequent on a regular basis.

I put the last main point of importance in for a good reason. We used to go to another coffee shop, it was on the way to a beach we like to visit. We're not ocean swimmers, we're not sunbathers, we just like the fact that we are close to some of the best waters and cleanest beaches in the world (in our opinion). This particular cafe had the first 2 items on the list, item 3 was OK but the 4th.. did not even come close. However - we do give people a chance to correct behaviors, but when they got the meals wrong and things were missed off the order a second time, we took our money elsewhere. We still drive past that particular coffee shop on the way to the coast occasionally and noticed that most everyone else had voted with their feet as well. 

So what makes one coffee shop do well while another one bombs?

In the case of cafe A above - They lost a lot of business because they couldn't be bothered to train staff and monitor output. But let's go back to the three coffee shops in the one street. 
  • The closest to where we park had a well loved bakery attached to it, but the service was a bit ordinary. 
  • The one farthest away consistently has all the elements in a coffee / breakfast venue we liked, so they are currently getting our business. 
  • The only reason we had bypassed the middle one at the time of changing venue was shade. We would visit it once when our preferred breakfast spot was completely full and we were hungry. The 4 main elements were OK, but there was just something that didn't work. It was the little things that said, we'll wait for a table. And we haven't been back since. as we were walking past on Sunday we noticed that it was completely empty, while the other two were full to capacity.
So to go back to the main question - why is it that one store is successful while another one bombs, goes back to some simple things: 
  • Is your service consistently good?
  • Are your prices reasonable?
  • Do you take care of the little details consistently? And
  • It doesn't hurt to smile and remember orders even if you can't remember names as well, especially for people you see on a regular basis either.