So you just opened up your food truck, now what? The typical next step is to determine how you will make your mobile food business a success. Unfortunately, having a great menu in a food truck friendly city just won’t cut it. So what can you do? The answer is often over looked, but the true measure of success lies with the only people who really determine your food truck’s future: your customers and your customer relationships.
This is not to say that your culinary innovation and business ideas should be forgotten. They are definitely pieces of the success puzzle. However, they aren’t nearly as valuable as your customers.
3 Strategies For Building Customer Relationships
Your plans could be awesome, but if your customers are happy with your current options and have no interest in a new menu items, your truck may not have much of a future. You need to put your customers’ perspectives and needs far ahead of your own. This will give your food truck a fighting chance.
It’s Never Too Early Too Use Customer Feedback
The first idea in building your food truck’s customer relationships should take place before you begin to define the details of your menu. Begin by asking people in your market what they think.
Your customers’ opinions are more important than your own when it comes to shaping the details of the dishes your food truck will offer. Bring them in at the very beginning and learn what will be needed for your mobile food business to be successful.
Watch how they react to your dishes, and then adapt your direction around what they do say.
This type of early adoption of feedback in your customer relationships process will ensure your business heads down the right path. It will also get you in the mindset to accept advice from the right audience. This will allow your food truck to adjust to market changes before they happen.
As a food truck owner, you find yourself getting pulled in different directions every day, and there are certain areas where it’s important to delegate responsibility. However, establishing customer relationships standards when it comes to how consumers experience your business is an area you can’t neglect.
Always remember that your employees are an extension of your food truck brand. Your brand’s reputation is what keeps customers happy. Don’t hesitate to point this out when you see an employee take and action that may affect customer perceptions of your business.
Keep Your Employees Trained
Your food truck employees only get one chance to make a first impression with a customer. If you let them enter that situation unprepared, you’re doing your business a disservice. Within the first minute of stepping up to your service window, a customer will figure out if the server is credible.
Put the time in from an employee’s first days on the job. Make sure they can navigate that initial introduction in a way that will only increase a customer’s confidence in your food truck and your menu.
RELATED: Building Rapport With Your Food Truck Customers
The Bottom Line
Maintaining good relationships means everything as a food truck vendor. If you’re burning bridges with every transaction, even your suppliers are going to become opponents instead of allies. Strong working relationships between suppliers and customers are entirely possible, but it takes trust and transparency on both sides.
Do you have any additional tips for food truck customer relationships? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share your thoughts in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook.