Recently, I was back in the US presenting the results of their customer loyalty research to senior management and their teams. These guys are absolutely committed to driving revenue through customer loyalty research.
They are now achieving an amazing +77 NPS (Net Promoter Score).
The main focus when visiting and working with this company is to continue working with the leadership team to continually develop their skills as coaches. Even though they are a high performing team, they’re committed to the philosophy of continuous improvement.
As part of this rounds training strategy, I decided to include a ‘Mystery Shopping’ exercise so that each person had the opportunity to stop and look at other businesses service.
What was the overall service experience?
How would you improve it?
Did they do anything to increase revenue?
We visited a number of businesses including Denny’s a significantly sized American table service diner-style restaurant chain (relatively cheap place to eat) with around 1700 restaurants in 50 states and 9 countries.
Whilst we had dinner, we completed a full mystery shop armed with a clear set of service standards to measure our experience by.
One of the service standards we were particularly interested in measuring was – product awareness.
Why product awareness? We don’t use the word upsell because we believe it is our job is to let people know about our products and services and give people the space to buy it or not. And again, it’s all about how you do that – the technique and the timing.
Point out drink options using a leading question e.g. “Have you heard about…?” or “Has anyone mentioned our great ….?”
Whilst taking our orders
Talk about the specials and bread and entrees at the table or offer breads and entrees (if not already ordered)
After we had finished
Offer desserts or coffee
And the answer was no, at every single opportunity.
And to top it off – when our waitress bought the bill to our table, it was then she actually said, “Do you want anything else?”
Timing was way off – we had already finished our meals; the bill had been presented. Our waitress used this question leading into a farewell statement but it was a useless thing to say at this time.
In our experience when you say anything else at this time, 98% of customers are going to say No
What would have happened if she just took a moment when clearing our table and using a leading question asked – have you seen our lovely desserts?
It’s important to note here, that we were served by a woman who had a lot of energy and a lovely personality, great people skills and she obviously enjoyed her job. Great combination, right, and a good fit for this role.
So, the question is, what’s missing from this example? Clearly, the answer is ‘product awareness’ and the development, training and coaching of service standards into their teams.
This woman had absolutely no idea what opportunities were missed; whether we’re talking about the customer experience or the impact of that on Denny’s overall revenue.
In fact, I was left wondering whether Denny’s had considered the missed opportunity at all.
The beauty of the Mystery Shop exercise is that it give’s very clear and measurable information and when the gaps show up like in this example, it provides a clear pathway forward.
This is a huge opportunity for Denny’s.
Imagine this, Just one more dessert sold per day across all venues at $3.00
365 x $3.00 x 1700 = $1,861,500 extra dollars in revenue.
Remember this is based on just one more dessert.
Let’s take this one level up!
Say, 3 waiters sold 3 more desert per day across all venues at $3.00
3 x $3.00 x 365 x 1700 = $5,584,500 extra dollars in revenue.
They sold a further 20 desserts per day, which in my experience is quite possible. They would be an increase of over $12 million per year.
After spending two weeks in the United States, and having to dine out on a regular basis, it’s amazing, even in a place like Denny’s where the staff operate on tips, how very few made any attempt to addon and upsell.
I would suggest that Denny’s would want to share some return with the staff, you know, to make it an incentive to play this game play.
We’ve done this across many businesses one which had a strong customer flow but operated on low margins, we promoted chocolate bars, 10 stores, 7 days per week, 24 hours a day.
Initially without any training, they were selling about 4000 bars when they put them on special – two for $3, for example. They were selling 14 per day on average.
Once we implemented the service standards and trained the customer service standard and technique into these 10 teams – we sold 40,000 bars in one month. That was an average of 143 bars per day or 6 per hour.
The result of this experiment became a program and overall resulted in over $100 million in gross profit, over five years.
There’s HUGE opportunities in product awareness to look at and how they can shift the level of ‘being of service’ to their customers, not to mention their revenue.
But the thing is, it’s got to be done the right way, if it’s done the wrong way, customers don’t like it, because it just lands like a sales push, rather than being of service – this always results in a No.
78% of the buying decision is influenced by the person serving
I should mention McDonald’s, and their very successful sales program – Would you like fries to go with that? That one question resulted in about 7% of their total revenue.
And, after sometime it also became the ‘butt joke’ because everyone knew what they were going to be asked.
With all the research we’ve done people tell us when it comes to sales, they only want to be told about related products or services that they’re interested in.
We should always check a customer’s level of interest first and that’s where leading questions come into play.
“Have you seen….. ?”
“Did you know…. ?”
“Has anyone mentioned….. ?”
And, if they have been told respond with “that’s great, so you know that (fill in the blanks).”
Where are your missed opportunities? What would you like to let your customers know about? How can you develop this addon into an enticing addon, remembering it’s got to be positive.
If for example, it is food related – we’ve got to say something about the food and the taste, we have our delicious scotch fillet on the menu tonight. When we do this with hotels, we’re playing to increase the average spend over $10.
Or, if care related – we worked with a client who sold leather handbags and leather products, they were struggling to consistently increase revenue (the average sale was one item) until we not only identified the opportunity for upselling through addons but developed the technique.
To do so we went in store to observe as, learning has not taken place until behaviors change on the job.
We were delighted to find one woman was using this lovely product awareness line which resulted in a YES, nearly every time. “Has anyone told you the best way to care for this handbag?”
Why, because most customers replied with a NO, and she would continue the conversation with “let me just show you.”
It was the perfect line, so we implemented this one line into the service standards, trained it back on the job and accessory sales grew by 78%. Our client had been trying to achieve this for years.
Some things to remember
Product awareness that is considered ‘being of service’ generates an increase in revenue by using the right technique and the right timing.
Generally speaking we get one opportunity so be enthusiastic, if they say YES great. If they say NO great – it important that the customer is always left feeling they have made the right decision for them .
Unlike the previous McDonald’s example – mix it up, don’t become repetitive or robotic, ensure you have a few different leading questions to avoid becoming a ‘butt joke’.
Not only does product awareness increase revenue, it increases the level of the customer’s experience, generates loyalty, word-of-mouth-referrals and repeat business.
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As always, if you would like to have a chat with me about how ‘10/10 Customer Service and Product Awareness can increase your revenue’ contact me I look forward to hearing from you.