The last two weeks we discussed the benefits of providing a great customer experience. This week we are going to tackle the ramifications of what a poor customer experiences does for your brewery. It’s almost too easy to provide a poor experience to a customer. Some examples of poor customer experiences I either experienced or observed recently are as follows.
First, not addressing a customer when they come in.
There were a few times, where I witnessed customers come into a brewery, sit at the bar, and wait 10 minutes for someone to acknowledge their presence. This was not a time where it was a busy night and the brewery was short-staffed. This was a time where there were three people behind the bar and five people sitting in the brewery. The staff in question were really excited to talk to each other, but not excited to talk to customers. This first interaction can set the tone for the remainder of their experience. This can be as simple as greeting the customer when they enter in and having the staff introduce themselves
Two, not being able to provide relevant recommendations to customers. One brewery I visited a couple of months ago had 20 different beers on tap. In interacting with the taproom staff I asked for recommendations of what I should get and gave some examples of what type of beers I enjoyed. The proper response here would be to recommend a few options or provide (and charge) for some samples of things that I might like. The wrong answer and the one that was given was “everything here is great, just pick something and you will like it.” While it may be true that all of the beers are good (I would hope so), it does not help the customer to decide on what to choose and provides a poor customer experience. Engaging with your customers by providing recommendations shows the customer you care about providing the right beers for them and enhances their experience. If you can guide them to find a perfect beer for them, they will be more likely to spend more money in the taproom and come back regularly.
Three, not serving beer correctly. One brewery I went into had a beer on nitro. I saw a customer order this beer and basically get a pint full of foam as the taproom server did not know how to properly pour a nitro beer. The poor customer looked at what they got and with a sigh of resignation, took the foam beer and tried to let it settle (which it really didn’t) and then drink foam. Serving beer appropriately is extremely important. You could have brewed a great beer, but if you taproom servers can’t serve it appropriately, your customers won’t realize how good your beer is. I highly recommend breweries have their taproom staff complete the Cicerone Certified Beer Server training. Not only will they learn to serve beer correctly, it will help them provide a better experience to their customers.
With a little intentionality, you have the ability to elevate the customer experience and create customers that will come back again and again.