When building your food truck empire, the most important details go way beyond how your food tastes. Think about it. Everyone has great food and an awesome concept, but what is one thing that will set them apart? How they interact with customers. This is the real secret to food truck success. By improving how you interact with customers, you’ll be rewarded with flocks of hungry, happy followers to your food truck.
Here are some tips for boosting customer relations:
Know Your Customers
What is the easiest way to build a successful, committed relationship with your customers? Get to know them! This can be as easy as making an effort to talk to me when they come to the truck window. Ask for their name and find out where they work. Over time you will memorize the names and favorite menu items of people who regularly visit your truck. This leaves a big impression on your customers and makes more likely to come back.
Getting to know your customers doesn’t have to be all in person. Keep in touch with your followers on social media. A simple reply to a Facebook comment, or a retweet of how much they loved your food really goes a long way.
Show Who You Are
Every relationship is a two-way street. Getting to know your customers is one thing, but you should also give them the opportunity to know you. A clear, upfront brand communicates what you’re all about. From your website to your trucks graphics, your brand is the easiest way for your customers to know you. If you want to go beyond brand, tell them your name or share your trucks story. Tell them why your business if cooking such awesome creations and how you got there. Give them a reason to know who they are supporting and why they should support you.
Beyond who you are, show them what you believe in. If you serve only organic ingredients from local farmers, or donate to causes that support your community, show customers what you stand for. This connects you with like-minded individuals who are interested in supporting businesses like yours.
Give Them What They Want
It is always good to be consistent. Those who scour your social media craving your flavorful options will be disappointed if have something completely different. It’s not that you can’t experiment on your menu, but your emphasis should be the signature style of your truck. Customers return again and again because they have had a great experience and they trust you to replicate it.
But no matter what you serve, always make sure it is your best work. Those who are serious about their menus, ingredients, and service will only serve their best work every time. By showing people you are truly committed to your craft, you’ll make connections with those who support quality, passion, and hard work.
Treat Them With Respect
The cornerstone of any relationship is mutual respect. Your customers have different interests and lifestyles. Have real conversations with them and show them you care with little extras. This can be as simple as a free dessert or a coupon in their bag. People know the difference between talking to them or treating them well because you want to sell something. They’ll lose interest quickly if you’re just trying to make a pitch.
This also goes for when things go wrong. Be honest. There is a difference between serving sub-par food regularly and having the occasional slip-up. It is ok to be honest when things go wrong because no one can be perfect every time. You may miss a big event because your truck breaks down or you may offer a special, but run out because you underestimated the demand. Your followers will be disappointed, but they’ll understand if you’re upfront. Apologize when you make a mistake and work to rectify the situation.
Probably the most important; Have fun! Show your customers that you’re wild about your food truck. When customers see you’re having fun, they will be more inclined to support your business. Just think about it. Would you rather visit a quiet, drab truck with a bored looking chef or one where the team is having a good time and in a great mood? Plus, at the end of the day, you should enjoy running your business.