Getting more sales out of our existing customers
When we are locked in on our business and honing a particular part of it, there is some magic in there. I love nothing more than exploring tactics or strategies to strengthen my business. I start by asking a question and then finding as many answers to the question as I can. Today’s question is: How do we get more sales out of our existing customers?
Upselling is always the first thought on everyone’s mind, so let’s dig into that a little. Looking at the phone calls that come into your store is a good place to start. We use phone scripts at all of our stores, in addition to posting each store’s monthly specials online and in-store. We also provide specific prompts and recommendations after a customer has placed an order. For example, when a customer orders a large pizza, we train our team to ask them if they would like an extra-large pizza instead, which is about 33 percent more pizza for only $2 extra. At the end of the interaction, we are asking about breadsticks, cheesy breads, drinks and desserts. We have found great success adding prompts to our online ordering. This is the same concept as with our phone interactions, but we now also have pop-up windows prompting customers to add more to their orders.
For table service, we don’t just rely on the server upselling and suggesting items, though we train them to do so. We’ve developed another tool/tactic, which we call flip charts, for tables. I am a big proponent of seeing something you like that works and is done well at a chain restaurant and then taking it, adapting it and making it better to fit your brand and goals. While sitting at a chain restaurant, I noticed that their tables weren’t as cluttered as ours — but there was this interesting thing sitting on the table. I started to flip through it, and it was filled with pictures and offers of their food and drink items. I liked it so much that I made one for Caliente, and we now use it to take the customer on a journey. We are using great pictures and a graphic artist to design the charts, so they look even better than what the chains use. There is a welcome picture of me toward the front, then when you flip it over it begins by telling our company’s story. Then, as customers flip through it, we guide them through every high-profit item we have. By the end of the flip-through, and before the wait staff returns, the customer has already discovered something that caught their eye.
I remember the first time I got gas and the cashier asked me if I wanted to join the gas station’s rewards program. I thought, “what the heck is a rewards program?” Fast forward 25 years later and it feels like every business in America has one. If you don’t, you should. They are a great way to market to your current customers and incentivize them to keep coming back. Many POS systems offer them, and there are great companies out there that offer these services.
Speaking of POS systems and third-party integration, that’s what we will discuss next month.