Give Control to Customers
My wife and I went to lunch recently at the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao.
Fogo operates on a simple premise: servers wander the restaurant with a wide selection of meats. You have a little round token that sits on the table to indicate when you want meat. If you want more meat, you flip the green side up. When a server passes by with meat, he will stop and offer you some. When you want to take a break or are done, you flip the token over to the red side.
The customer is in complete control of how much and when he eats. Instead of a server constantly asking, “Do you want more?” the customer can indicate preferences without interruption.
How can you let customers tell you what they want without harassing them or asking them endless questions?
Customer Needs Change Over Time
At first, I flipped my token over so that it was green for several minutes. I was barraged by a constant stream of servers bringing all types of delicious meats.
As the lunch progressed, I got more selective and picky with what meats I wanted.
Just as I filled up during my lunch, customers will change over time. What you first sold them may not be the repeat sale. What worked last week may not work this time. You’ll need to be alert to customer’s needs and wants and respond accordingly.
Ask the Follow-up Question
At a time when I had the green side up, a server passed by with a cut of meat I didn’t want. When I said, “No thanks,” he responded with, “Do you have any requests?”
This response immediately forced me to tell him what I wanted. No sooner had I answered him that my sirloin choice was brought to my table.
When you find out the “why” or the “what” behind a customer’s response or request, you can more quickly get to the root issue or preference and serve that need immediately.
Don’t be afraid to ask the follow-up question.