Knowing Your Customers

The recent meeting of Seattle U Family Business Exchange (companies with multiple generations in the business) two of the presenters showed there are multiple ways to please your customer base and keep them loyal.

Aakanksha Sinha and her husband are the owners of Spice Waala, a fairly new Indian restaurant in Seattle featuring Indian Street food. They have an everchanging menu, with new items daily. It is their way of showing off the different types of Indian food.

On the flip side, Jasmine Donovan, president of Dick’s Drive-In, has a menu that has barely changed in decades. When she asked us to put our favorite Dick’s menu items in the Zoom chat the overwhelming favorite was the Dick’s Deluxe, which Jasmine said is a relative newcomer to the menu having been introduced in 1974. Dick’s customers love what Dick’s has and love the familiarity.

Being new, refreshing, and innovative is great, and highly popular. But being steady and knowing what your customers want is equally important. It would be business suicide for Spice Waala to keep the same menu for extended time periods as their customers want to try different things. It would be even faster business suicide if Dick’s started introducing new (and short-term) menu items like the fast-food chains do.

It’s knowing what your customers want, and don’t want, that matters. And what your customers, employees, suppliers, and all others want is, among other things an end to Covid (and a Happy Holiday season).

“God bless us, everyone.” Tiny Tim (a great story)

“Santa, I know him.” Buddy the Elf (one of the best and funniest Christmas movies ever)

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