Put quality at heart of your business

Taking steps to win customer loyalty and encourage repeat business need not be complicated, writes Alan Halliday of Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd Scotland


OVER the last year we have seen a growing trend among Scottish consumers of staying in more frequently, saving their money and enthusiasm for bigger, later nights out when they do hit the trade.

Against this backdrop, how can licensees ensure they are making the most of this trend and the sales opportunity for their outlets?
Pubs that are aware of their customers’ needs and give them what they want while offering a strong value proposition will again be the most successful this year – even when sociable summertime is just a distant memory.
And this doesn’t mean cheap – people expect to pay more in a pub – but value for money on every single visit really is key.
There’s plenty we can do to make what’s on offer in our pubs more appealing.
Giving every pub-goer true value, anticipating what they want, and delivering it how they want it, is pivotal.

Quality is about guaranteeing consistency in everything you do.

We know that’s the quickest route to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Restricted choice, poor value and being out of touch with your market are sure to keep potential customers opting to entertain at home or going elsewhere.
So, what more can we do to keep customers coming back to the pub?
Lessons can be learned from other industries.
Creating loyalty is a key strategy for airlines, supermarkets and coffee shops – they know customers can be hard to win, but all too easy to lose.
Offering value to drive loyalty doesn’t need to be complex.
In fact, in pubs, I believe it can be really simple. Meal deals, free refills, curry nights and entertainment are all easy ways to win over customers.
When looking specifically at soft drinks, getting the basics right can make a genuine difference between a sale or no sale. These basic principles are simple to implement and address issues of quality, visibility and choice.
Having the right choice is fundamental but is only one way to sales success; pubs need to then make the range visible behind the bar and on food and drink menus to increase impulse purchase and drive incremental sales. In fact, consumers who look at a menu in a pub often spend more per order overall!

Pubs aware of their customers’ needs and offering value will succeed.

Once you have choice and visibility covered off, quality of serve is also vital.
Make sure you’re putting as much time and effort into a soft drink as you would pouring a perfect pint.
Quality is about guaranteeing consistency in everything you do.
Offering great brands alongside well-sourced food, served perfectly, and with a smile will keep customers coming back and ensure they are spending their hard-earned money with you.