Articles Tagged ‘Marketing lessons’

Marketing Lessons from Brann’s Sizzling Steaks

Monday, September 26th, 2011

I recently had the great pleasure to watch how superior customer service is masterfully performed when it often seems difficult to find these days. Here’s the quick story and the three marketing lessons it can teach all of us.

My mom and I went to one of our favorite local restaurants this past Tuesday night in Muskegon, Michigan. Brann’s Sizzling Steaks has been around since 1960, and now has over 9 locations throughout the state.

When we eat there, we enjoy the great food, the atmosphere, and their specials, but
most of all something that is difficult for many businesses to provide on a
consistent basis: great customer service.

I noted that when we sat down, our waitress was happy and very knowledgeable about
the daily specials. Sensing that my special guest (mom) and I were engaged in a
great conversation, she read the situation carefully and came back a few minutes
later to take our drink order. In less than a minute the drinks arrived, and she
then proceeded to take our dinner order, and walked away.

She returned to our table a few minutes later with our dinner rolls and to also
inform us of a special promotion they had going involving a drawing for a pair of
Detroit Lions football tickets against the Chicago Bears.

We let her quickly explain the sign up form and when she returned with dinner we
both gave her our completed entry forms. At the end of the meal she asked us if we
had room for dessert, with which we said no as we were both stuffed. She then
thanked us again for coming in and then returned with our dinner bill.

On the surface this experience may seem pretty mundane and ordinary. However, as we
left the restaurant, we both were amazed not only by how friendly our waitress was
(the food’s always great too), but also how everyone else from the young gentleman
who opened the door for us, to the hostess who seated us were also extremely
friendly as well.

So, here are the three big marketing lessons from Brann’s Sizzling Steaks that anyone
can learn from and apply within their own business or organization.

#1. The first impression with customers is the key. When we entered the restaurant
we were greeted by the door being opened for us by a young, happy man saying
Welcome! Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it is, and here’s why:

It’s rarely done these days, with notable exception being the classic Wal-Mart
greeter. In addition, it was different from most food establishments, and started
the dining experience off with a good feeling before we were even seated.

In an age of bruised consumer confidence, I’m stunned as to why most businesses often
make the first impression with customers so lackluster and unmemorable. Customers
have great choice and are often silently begging to find people and firms that they
can trust, and who also make them feel like their patronage is valued and respected.

So many employees in all kinds of businesses act as if customers are an annoyance or
interruption.

This is not only foolish, but it is also often a huge reason why so many businesses
are struggling with repeat business and positive word-of-mouth. We all have our own
poor customer service stories to prove this point.
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