Making a sale in your butcher’s shop is one thing - but in today’s competitive world, how do you keep customers coming back? All things considered, buying meat is a fairly in-depth purchase; consumers must make various decisions and judgements about the quality, price, cuts of meat, varieties of meat, availability, convenience - and that’s just to name a few!
With so many questions running through their heads, many customers rely heavily on the knowledge and expertise of their butcher to help give them the answers and guide them towards a decision. This means that creating positive customer experiences is more important than ever for butchers - customers will remember the quality of service as much as the product, so it’s key to maintaining long-term sales.
So, what can you do to ensure that your customers have a positive experience?
Think about the customer journey
First off, a customer journey is the process of a customer making a purchase. Nowadays, a customer journey can begin long before a customer sets foot into your store. More and more new customers are being directed from external sources like your shop sign or online references.
In a general sense, a customer journey is made of three parts aware, evaluate, and purchase. While it can be difficult to know exactly where a customer came from - there’s plenty you can do to make their process through the journey smoother at every point.
A good exercise to optimise the customer journey for a butcher shop is to perform a SWOT analysis — to look deeper at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to your business.
Start with the exterior
The next time you return to your butcher shop do so with a critical eye — it might be helpful to think of your business as if it were a competitor. Approach the shop as you think a customer would from the high-street or a local parking area— does anything immediately jump out at you?
Consider how it looks from the outside. Does it look inviting? Are the window displays clean and visual? Can you clearly read the name of the business from the sign? Are the business hours posted? Does it look like someplace you would want to make a purchase?
Walkthrough the interior
Next, consider the inside — are the aisles clear of clutter? Does the shop look clean? Does it smell nice? Do the staff look appropriately dressed and appropriately clean? Is the meat correctly labelled with the right prices? Are there any areas that need improvement?
Once you’ve had a walk around your shop from the exterior and interior, it should paint a much clearer picture of what your customers experience. From there, you should be able to make small adjustments to improve!
Signage and merchandising
Our tip is to keep your signage simple, concise, and easy to read. Proper signage will help eliminate customer confusion and may help them know which products are which — as not everyone can tell the difference between beef or lamb, lamb or pork, and turkey or chicken!
We also recommend you spend some time to consider merchandising — where visuals are everything! Remember, most people are right-handed and favour that side — put any ‘hot' items in that section of the display. Be sure to fill any gaps! Nothing can be more off-putting to customers than blank shelf space.
Provide fantastic customer service
Next, it's time to think about how to best serve the customer. Having knowledgable and courteous staff can be a butcher shops key to more sales and repeat customers.
Another good way to provide good customer service is to give them insights they wouldn’t get else, such as tips on how to cook the meat, what it goes best with, or what to look for in choosing the best cut. We recently outlined advice on how to select the best steak for you to pass onto customers!
Other things like giving your customers a heads-up on sales or letting them sample or see new products is a great way to build trust and to keep them coming back! As a butcher, it is also important to follow industry-related news and other butchers to keep up with current trends. By keeping up with the industry it will ensure you always have the knowledge and are better able to go the extra mile for your customers. Remember, even if they don’t buy from you, customers will remember the experience and friendly advice - that can influence their next purchase.
At Butcher’s Equipment Warehouse, we want you to keep providing top-quality meat and to operate at peak efficiency — to do so we stock a range of reliable butchers knives to meet your needs! And if you’ve got any questions or need any advice, feel free to give our friendly team a call on 01254 427721.