Building Customer Loyalty

Let’s face it - the Australian café industry has never been as crowded as it is right now. Café owners all around the country are fighting tooth and nail against each other for market share. Customers have the ultimate power of choice, so they need to be given a compelling reason to choose your café and not the one next door.

It’s important to not just focus your time and energy on attracting new customers, but to keep your regular customers loyal. It is much easier and far more cost effective to retain your existing customers, than it is to find new ones.

The best thing you can do for your business is to build such a powerful emotional connection with your customers, that they will keep coming back time and time again. A strong relationship with your customers makes it much less likely they will ever switch to a competitor.

Ask yourself, and your regular customers, why they choose your café for their daily caffeine fix. Is it because your coffee prices are the cheapest on the block? Or is it because your café is within walking distance of your customer’s workplace? If your customers only choose you because of location and price, what will happen when another café opens up down the road with a cheaper menu?
If your customers are loyal to you because they appreciate the friendly and personal service they receive from your staff each and every time they visit your café, then you’ve already created an emotional connection that will be hard to break.

Something we focus on at Di Bella Coffee is looking for opportunities to exceed our customers’ expectations of us and reinforce their loyalty towards our brand. We call these opportunities “Moments of Magic.”

Every interaction your customers have with your business is an opportunity to create a moment of magic. Such moments could be as simple as your staff greeting every customer with a smile the moment they walk in the door, or memorising every regular customer’s order.

Simple gestures like this can go a long way in creating a regular and loyal customer base.

Often the most powerful moment of magic comes from complaints or issues. If a customer complains about a burnt coffee, don’t just give them a replacement one; offer them a complimentary coffee for the rest of the week. That would truly exceed their expectations and create an emotional attachment to your business.

Creating such moments for your customers also increases the likelihood they will recommend your business to their family and friends.

Building a loyal base of customers is the most cost effective strategy you will ever implement in your business - all it takes is a little magic!


Phillip DiBella