Customer Engagement

Having good relationships with customers is one easy way to maintain business. Are you making the most of your customers?

A valuable relationship is better than just knowing customer names.  A valuable relationship (i.e. where you get increasing amounts of revenue) is the best way to insure your future.  And your existing customers are the fastest and surest way to grow your business.

The average Australian butcher captures only 24 cents of every dollar their customer spends on meat.  Knowing your customers and giving them what they want will not only make sure they come back and buy again, but that they’ll also tell their friends about the good experience they’ve had. Meaning they will not only come back, but they’ll bring their friends.  Increasing sales is the key driver for a successful business.

Below is an outline of some quick and easy ways to engage the customer while they’re in your store:

 1. Engage the customer with a respectful greeting, such as “good morning/afternoon, how’s your day going?”
 2. Ask an open ended question, such as “what’s for dinner tonight / for the rest of the week?”
 3. Let them know about any new products while you are serving them.
 4. Keep a count on how many meals they have purchased – make suggestions for anything they have missed.  For example “what about some mince for Wednesday night?”
 5. Suggest meal solutions to get an extra sale, for example “have you tried pork mince in your spaghetti Bolognese?  The kids love it.”
 6. Provide cooking sheets for new products.
 7. Have information or quick reference sheets available for your counter staff.


Download our customer engagement reference sheet here.

Create a Customer Database

In order to learn more about your customers, you need to initiate conversations with them.  Additionally, you need to record information you find out about individual customers so that whoever serves them can use that information to make a bigger sale next time.

Over time face-to-face conversations will become deeper, just because you and your staff know the customers better. Nowadays conversations do not have to be face-to face, so having a customers’ mobile number or email address is critical. It allows you to transmit messages that encourage your customers to come to you more often.

These might take the form of a newsletter such as the one opposite, enabling you to send weekly or monthly updates to your best customers (or any you have on your list).

On average, an Australian butcher has around 1900 different customers in a year.  The 80:20 rule normally applies, meaning that you make 80% of your sales out of 400 regular customers.  It’s this 400 that you want to capture onto a database ASAP.

Start creating a database with this customer detail form.

Download our Database template here.

Provide Recipe Ideas

You may want to provide those customers who love cooking (they’re the ones that will try new recipes more frequently) with meal ideas.

To download a recipe ideas template, click here.  These can be printed and left on your counter for customers to pick up while they are waiting to be served.

The reasons to start with your existing customers are:

  • Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers
  • Referrals among repeat customers are107% greater than one-off-customers
  • It costs 6 times more to sell something to a prospect than to sell that same thing to an existing customer.

As you can see your marketing dollars will go further if you use it to build, nurture, and develop your existing customer relationships.

Obviously, it’s important to try to satisfy them with the right products and services, supported by the right promotion, while making it available at the right time and location. Long-term client and customer loyalty is an ongoing challenge that we must strive for every day and with every transaction no matter how big or small.  Ongoing communication can help with this.

Create a Pre-Order Template

Shopper research conducted for APL found that while butchers have many strengths in perceived quality and freshness, their biggest problem is their lack of convenience.

This is about harnessing simple ideas that mean they pay you earlier and spend less time, when they don’t have time.

Have an order form that is available in-store, on email and on the internet. This will allow people to pre-order (and pay by credit card) when they do have time and pick it up quickly when they don’t.