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By Scott Hokkanen
You love them. You love to hate them. You can’t live without them. They’re your coffee shop customers! Every morning, your very own cast of caffeine-seeking characters amble into your business, bleary eyed and jonesing for their first (or fifth) hit of caffeine.
After a while, you start to notice patterns. Like the guy who’s asking questions about your new cold brew is always standing in front of your merch shelf. Or the woman who’s always ordering while on her cell phone starts to squirm if her double Americano takes more than two minutes to make.
According to a 2018 survey by Reuters, 64% of Americans asked said they had a cup of coffee the previous day. With 10 million tons of coffee consumed yearly worldwide, there is a huge market for your product. That’s why it’s important to identify and understand the different types of coffee drinkers, so you know how to appeal to a wide range of them at your venue.
While customer profiling can only get you so far, all this categorization leads to one question: How do you keep all your customers happy?
Answer: Identify the most common characters who visit your shop – and the ones you want to attract – then focus on serving their needs first.
Here are nine customers who will visit your coffee shop and how to keep them happy and coming back.
This coffee aficionado loves what you do – and maybe likes to talk to you about it while a line forms behind them. You’re all for chatting up customers about your new blend, but you’re also hyper aware of those less enthusiastic customers who just want their coffee, now.
How to Make a Coffee Nerd Geek Out for Your Cafe:
No matter how many times you tell them the wifi password, they (and their devices) can’t seem to remember it. No matter how many times you point to the password’s location at your counter, they never remember to look. And if your connection goes down for even a minute, they’ll be the first ones to ask you what’s happening. While most people need wifi at their local coffee shop, this person likely works remotely full time and takes the obsession to a new level.
How to Connect with the Wifi Obsessed:
…who does, what again?
This person is definitely no slave to a nine-to-five schedule, but they hang out almost daily and you know they’re working hard at something. Sometimes they bring in other creative types for meetings, but you’re not exactly sure what they discuss during said meetings. They mostly like their coffee black, but they can appreciate some great latte art, too.
How to Keep Freelancers Happy Between Gigs:
Similar to the Coffee Nerd, this person will not shut up about the type of bean they love but also insist on knowing where it comes from. The socially conscious coffee hipster serves an important function in society by holding establishments accountable to the coffee world at large, namely the workers who harvest the beans.
Which is great! You could talk about that for days. But you have a business to run, and they don’t. If you want to avoid the wrath of the socially-conscious hipster, make social responsibility your plan A.
How to Be a Haven of Conscious Consumerism:
You can feel the anxiety coming off of this customer. They’re either late for a meeting or their boss is breathing down their neck.
Just like an auto-racing pit stop, the goal is to get them in and out as fast as possible, so they can stay in the race. They’re stressed and in a hurry and don’t have time for any shenanigans that don’t involve getting their caffeine, stat.
How to Make Them Happy in a Hurry:
A coffee shop is the perfect setting for a first date – a familiar and (sometimes) quiet space to get to know someone. A five-star restaurant or trip to the carnival can be a little much when you barely know someone, and that’s why a coffee shop atmosphere will always be a first date staple.
You definitely want to capture these future love birds! In a study by online dating app Zoosk, it was determined that across all age groups, the two most popular date ideas were coffee or dinner. But for women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and older, coffee was the obvious winner.
What do these customers order? Maybe an Americano, if they’re trying to play it cool. Or maybe they have a deep love of pumpkin spice lattes and want to make that clear from the first date. The point is, they’re going to order a drink that lasts, so if the date goes well there’s a reason to linger.
These are some of the best coffee shop customers around: always on their best behavior, dressed to impress, and likely to spend a little more to try and make that good first impression.
Make Them Fall in Love with Your Shop’s Trendy Vibe:
Community center by day, coffee shop by night. Sometimes people use a local coffee shop as a communal place to sit down and chat. The chit-chatting customer, often retired, commonly travels in packs and is always up for a lively discussion. Chit-chatters talk about politics, sports, pop-culture, or what’s better: coffee or tea. One thing you know for sure is they are going to sit in large groups and be there for hours.
How to Stimulate the Conversation:
Page turners and coffee – the best combination since cappuccinos and ice.Avid Readers are always looking to find a little nook where they can settle in and get lost in the pages of a good book. They’re adventurous customers who love snacks and trying all sorts of coffee to find what they like.
How to Make Sure They Don’t Turn the Page on Your Cafe:
Calling all tea enthusiasts! Coffee shops aren’t just for coffee drinkers. Tea is a massive global phenomenon. In fact, reports say that 2.16 billion cups of tea are consumed daily around the world. That’s a lot of tea and a lot of potential business for your restaurant.
How to Give Service That Fits These Customers to a Tea:
Owning a coffee shop means you get a sneak peek into someone’s soul before they’ve had their morning brew, which really means you get to see people at their most vulnerable. Turn that knowledge into happy, regular customers and watch your profits soar.
Scott is the Communications Coordinator at TouchBistro, where he examines and reports on the constantly evolving restaurant industry. Whether it’s digging into hot wings with the hockey game or searching for the best oyster bar around, he feels right at home.
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