|Help me. Which one should I buy?|
I am served by a sales lady. I tell her I haven't had a bike for 30 years and I was wondering what was available. I don't need anything fancy just something to get me round the river and bay area.
So she reels off three different bike types and their prices. She may well have been talking french. What are the differences? There are racks of bikes but she doesn't show me anything. I then ask her about helmets and accessories...in other words I am a pretty interested buyer.
With prompting she then shows me a picture of one of the bikes. I can see I am not getting anywhere fast here and say "I think about it" and leave. She doesn't get my details, show me anything I can touch and feel; offer any brochures, so I go...never to return.
Interesting isn't it. How often does something like this happen in your restaurant?
At this time of year the phone will be ringing with function inquires; requests for catering and help and advice for staff Christmas parties. Your prospective customers they may also be just calling in; or they maybe asking for information from servers when they are dining. These function inquires are your bikes. How well are you handing these requests?
Do you have a process for managing inquires?
Do you collect customer information whether they book or not?
Do you have a system to automatically follow up each inquiry?
Do you have a questioning process to drill down and understand your customer needs and make them feel important?
Do you have some collateral to give them with menus, options and suggestions for holding a successful function?
How do you add value so your prospective customer feels you are the only place to hold their event?
Do you have a system for measuring the metrics i.e. how many inquires do you get? How many book straight away? How many inquires do you miss? How many do you follow up and get the booking? Etc
Do you know how they heard about you? Have they dined at the restaurant before?
Do you know why or why they didn't book with you?
Do you segment these type of inquires in your database so you can contact them again about other events and functions?
Yes, this one simple touch point can make or break your business.
Now would be a good time to audit what is actually happening? May be even asked someone to do a mystery shopper for you and get them to give you some feedback. Don't make the mistake of assuming all is well...it probably is not.