When the influences on your footfall are so varied, having a structured plan for improvement is vital. Not only will it save you chasing your tail, but it’ll ensure you focus on the actions that make the biggest difference to your most desirable customers.
Our Account Managers attended a workshop that outlined three components vital to the decision-process of someone choosing where to dine or buy from. Take a look at the model below; the proposal is that unless you are addressing all three components, you are leaving yourself open to a ready-made reason for your potential customer to go elsewhere. If you’re making strides in all three areas, you should be on the path to increased sales, price premiums and greater customer loyalty. We can help you to use the model to consider where most of your efforts sit, acknowledge what’s working and why, and identify the weak spots that are slowing down or preventing footfall.
Don’t be tempted to ignore weak need as though it were something beyond your control. It’s a big subject for another time, but recognise that perceived need is linked to value perception, i.e. ‘need’ can often be stimulated if the offer is made compelling enough. Desserts often face ‘weak need’, as we’re no longer hungry, perhaps we’ve already enjoyed the experience of eating out, and they’re generally viewed as an unhealthy indulgence. So, following that example, how might you increase need?
Acknowledge how varied customer ‘needs’ may be (disabled access, gluten-free options, take-away dishes, extended opening hours, ample car parking, a birthday-party room?) … just stay sane by reviewing them only in the context of your top target customer groups – after all, you can never be all things to all men!
So, you’re confident you’re meeting a need, but chances are you’ve competitors who do too, so how do you become the preferred option? Promoting your differences is essential, as if your product or service can be easily substituted, then it all comes down to either price or belief (see next). Consider:
With increasingly complex lives, our comfort zones are especially warm places to stay. To tempt someone to choose you, ‘need’ and ‘difference’ are often not enough – people want proof. They’re not simply going to take your word for it, not when the ‘general public opinion’ now means so much (think Social Media, Compensation-Claim-Culture, TripAdvisor and such like). But what does this mean for you?
Quick Tip: Short on time or marketing budget? It’s usually more cost-effective to focus on returning footfall than new.
There’s so very much that influences footfall and our Account Managers know that no business is ever the same. That’s why you’ll not find them shooting in the dark with random ideas and there’s no exhaustive checklist of footfall boosters or one-size-fits-all solution here. It’s about us understanding you, your business and following a structured approach to improved footfall. Keen to get going? Give your Account Manager a call or tweet us @pdfoodservice.