The Importance of Understanding Your Customers & How to Get to Know Them - A Guide for Coffee Shop Owners

Posted by Alyssa on 2018-04-16

Customers are the bread-and-butter of your café business—but how well do you really know them? Successful coffee shops and cafés do more than satisfy physical needs, they also serve the social and emotional needs of their customers. You need to know more about them than ‘they like coffee and pastries’. What brought them to you in the first place? And what motivates them to keep coming back?

The results of getting to know your customers are often used to inform marketing strategies; however, customer knowledge can have an impact on how you train your staff, the menu items and suppliers you choose, pricing, and more.

By the end of this blog post, you will be able to:

  • Employ multiple strategies to get to know your customers better
  • Create buyer personas with the information you gathered
  • Use those personas to give customers the experience they expect

Why Coffee Shop and Café Businesses Need to Know their Customers

Consider the differences between how you interact with your best friend, your child’s teacher, and a person you just met. Chances are, you would find it more challenging to engage a stranger in compelling conversation than you would your best friend. The reason for that is you know their interests, their likes and dislikes, and you likely have several things in common.

With a deep insight into the people who visit your café, you’ll have a better understanding of how to engage them. Remember: it’s easier to give people what they want when you know what they want. To successfully get through to your customers, you should know your ideal and typical customers as well as you do your friends.

Remember: it’s easier to give people what they want when you know what they want.

Better return on investment

When you choose to spend money on marketing or offering new product ranges, you’re expecting a return on your investment. With strong customer knowledge, it’s easier to figure out which offerings—from the design of your café to tea selection, the music playlist to special deals—will serve their needs, wants, and personal values. That translates into more sales and higher revenues.

Customer loyalty

According a 2017 study by SumAll, businesses with 40% repeat customers generate nearly 50% more revenue than businesses with only 10% repeat customers. Loyal customers keep coming back—and they bring their friends. When you understand your customers like you know your friends, you’re able to create relationships and give people experiences that keep them coming back for more.

Determine What You Need to Know about Your Customers

A café business is a sensual business—it’s tastes, smells, sounds, and ambiance. When you’re getting to know your customers, the aim is to learn their desires, challenges, pain points, motivation to buy, and understand what makes them tell their friends about your shop.

Here are some of the things you will want to learn about the people who visit your café (or the people you wish would come more!):

get to know your customers - a coffee shop guide

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