Simplify.

Pizza for lunchI went to a new cafe for lunch with my team this week. I can’t go there again.

The people were friendly and helpful, the premises are newly fitted out and rather designed looking. The food was good. But the organisation was so terrible I can’t go back. An example; the server took my order which was a takeaway order. Then took the orders of five other people. Then cleared some tables. Then sorted out drinks for another table. Then asked me to pay. I had been standing there with my wallet in my hand the whole time.

My guess is that this newly-opened cafe was started by a couple of people who like to cook, but have never run a cafe with high demand before.

There’s a cafe around the corner which serves hot food within about 3 minutes of reaching the counter. They’ve made the process as simple as they can; there’s a limited (but changing) selection, you pick up your own cutlery, the price is fixed. The result is speed – important to their clients who are on a short break from the office. It also means they serve more clients in the short lunch “rush”. That’s got to be better for business.

It got me thinking; how often do companies (or projects) start with the “beautiful picture” of what their business could be and ignore the reality? How is it that we can ignore what is really obvious to our customers?

Maybe it’s because we don’t ask – for example the data behind the “Perception Gap” infographic shows; 76% of social marketers feel they know what their customers want – although only 34% of them have asked customers what they want. So my restaurant problem scales up. Frightening.

ThePerceptionGap_infographic


Pizza image Giordano’s deep dish /Romy Schneider/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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About Louise McGregor

I write about digital strategy, the changing online world, communication challenges and real life leadership. I work at the intersection of communications, technology and business and part of my job is to stimulate the adoption of new technologies in a way that makes business sense.
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2 Responses to Simplify.

  1. mike lund says:

    I find your article very interesting. People often say that their ‘customers are their most important asset’. Wrong. They are their ONLY asset. This issue constantly infuriates me. A new shop/cafe will open. Someone has obviously invested time and money / huge bank loans / mum’s wedding ring. Yet, they allow the staff to alienate and ignore NEW customers. Suicidal behaviour.

    • Exactly. What was particularly frustrating in this case was that the people were working hard, and trying to be nice to the customers – they just had no clue what customers wanted and how to design a process that would deliver that.

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