By Chelsea Kallman, NAMA Blogger | 10.25. 16
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.
If the Cheers television show theme song starts playing in your head then we’re on the right track. Not only is this an incredible TV show, but it’s also a great example of why knowing your customers is the best solution for growing your business.
Whether you company lends itself to a daily customer or even a yearly interaction, you can glean wisdom from the beloved TV show.
Customers who feel known and appreciated are going to come back time and time again.
I know sales representatives at clothing stores are paid to tell me I look great in a dress, but when they say it in a way that I believe it, you better believe I’m coming back again – not just for another great outfit, but for the affirmation and experience of feeling like a superstar.
Take a second and think about the opposite.
When you go into a coffee shop and you’re not greeted – you’re immediately put off. You feel like you’re not cool enough for the space or that you don’t know enough to order from their menu. How likely are you to go back? Zero percent.
Business Grow has an article about turning online influence into offline results, and in it Mark Schaefer makes the point that “relationships with companies are formed through interactions over time.”
Your business will grow when people you know are talking about it and when your regular customers feel known, appreciated, and like they’re a part of something.
In short, The Cheers Effect.
To be effective in this means you have to actually care.
One of the phrases Schaefer uses is being “authentically kind.” You have to be willing to start the conversation and emotionally invest with whomever you’re trying to influence. This looks like being helpful even when you don’t think you’ll get something in return. It means being trustworthy. He says small interactions like these lead to larger engagements.
Ask yourself this: Why do you go to the same bar over and over again? Maybe you like the food. Maybe the prices are great. But maybe at the end of the day it’s because you’re know,n and you can go in and be taken care of by someone who remembers your name, your favorite drink, and maybe even that you like two sides of blue cheese dressing with your french fries.
I found my Cheers when I started regularly going to a local barbeque restaurant. I would sit at the bar each time, and I quickly realized I kept getting the same bartender. He didn’t talk too much. And really, he didn’t need to. But he would make small talk about music, what was on TV, or just ask me what I was up to that day.
Fast forward several months. Now he is my favorite bartender in Nashville. All the small talk led to more conversation, and now he’s a part of my friend group. He has since gotten a new job, and you know how often I go to that BBQ restaurant now? Maybe once since he has left. Instead I go to the new bar where he works.
Having employees who are willing to make connections with your customers will, in turn, make your business so much more money.
Working in the coffee business, I get regulars who come in every single day.
It’s hard not to get to know someone when you see them five days a week. Many of these regulars have made such personal connections with the staff that they end up getting hired when they’re in need of a job, or they’re invited to staff bonfires at our houses. We get beers with them after work.
This concept doesn’t just apply to the hospitality industry though. I believe The Cheers Effect applies to every type of business. This goes back to our blog post about how being nice is always the best option.
At the end of the day, it’s about making a personal connection.
Read this article about how one car dealership did this extremely well. They were genuine, friendly, and they just acted like themselves. When you’re a car dealer, you’re not going to get repeat customers daily, but the shop gave its customers roadtrip inspiration and even great food suggestions. They were about more than just cars.
When you put time and energy into making your customers feel appreciated, it shows. It’s worth the work because at the end of the day, you’ll have an incredible reputation and a committed customer base. These two attributes lead to word-of-mouth marketing that is invaluable to any business.
Eventually enough people start talking, and it draws a crowd.
Because sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. You wanna go where you can see people are all the same. You wanna go where everybody knows your name.