As Melburnians, we are keen on cafes and coffees. To get my day started, I regularly go for morning coffee at Lucy Lockett.
It is just around the corner, open early, friendly staff and they make a great almond latte. Nothing unusual about that, there are many similar cafes nearby who all have equally friendly staff and make a pretty good latte.
Attentive Staff Will Increase Your Customer Loyalty
The thing that stands out particularly about Lucy Locket staff is their attentiveness to details and customer moods.
I recently burnt my arm and had a make-shift bandage until I could get to the chemist. One of the regular staff noticed and asked what had happened. I told him and he rushed off and came back with some burn ointment and a suitable bandage!
The thing I notice about the staff here is that they actually look at people and tables to make sure everything is in order. This, interestingly, is more unusual than not.
One of the great things about attentive staff is that they know when to come to a table because they pay attention. Are people deep in conversation, are the water glasses empty, has everyone finished their meal? Sure things get really busy and even if a staff member can't get to a table to take an order immediately a simple smile and acknowledgement that you (as a customer) have been seen and your order will be taken, table cleared, etc.
Train Your Staff
The moral of the story, train your staff to be attentive to customers. It may be common sense to some, but I am endlessly surprised at how little genuine attentiveness exists. Yes most staff smile, take orders, clear tables, etc. but they do it on their terms.
Working in a cafe (or any hospitality environment can be challenging, tiring and not paid all that well), but to lift your day you will find that if you engage with the people who walk in (even the difficult customers), you will enjoy your day a lot more and the business will improve.
It's a Two Way Street
Most staff do their best and it would benefit them and your business to take some time to provide "attentiveness" training over and above the mechanics of business operations.
This should include tips on how to manage when things get busy. Simple things, like acknowledging people when they walk in so that they know they will be served. Especially women over 40! The invisible population. You will win their unending loyalty.
Show your staff some love and attention, give them due recognition and above all help them engage with their (your) customers.
Coming Up - The Invisible, but valuable customers.