Loyal food truck customers are planted and grown; they’re not just in bloom the moment they walk up to your service window. Part of being a great food truck owner is the ability of building rapport with your customers. The key is that it has to be in a way that each customer feels like they left with more than they walked up with.
Building rapport is one of the most fundamental food truck sales techniques. In sales, rapport is used to build relationships with others quickly and to gain their trust and confidence. It is a very powerful tool that veteran food truck owners naturally employ, which allows them to close more sales with less effort.
Easy Methods To Building Rapport With Your Customers
Excellent customer service is about meeting or exceeding guest expectations. A vendors can provide this in a variety of ways, but one essential way is by making every transaction personal.
Learn Customer Names
Building rapport starts with name recognition. Your staff should always greet guests by name when possible. Names should be passed on to servers, who use them to introduce themselves. In some circumstances, servers should even pass along names to the owner or a manager. In addition, birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions should be acknowledged.
Educate Your Customers
The next way to start building rapport with your customers is by educating them. This can accomplished through your interactions, which can be easily attained at any food truck. Consider how easy it would be to tie your truck’s cuisine or a specific menu item to a story about the region it comes from or how you developed it?
Becoming an educator instead of standing by in the position of cashier will enable more conversation which will build loyalty and rapport.
Once you or your staff get the customer talking, it is important that you focus on listening. Listen for insights into their needs, wants, preferences. These bits of information will support your efforts at building rapport with your customer as you identify common interests and experiences, and pick up on points of interest.
The Bottom Line
Building rapport is a mindset, and it isn’t a skill everyone is born with but can be taught. I am always surprised at how many people working in the food truck industry lack this essential trait.
An essential facet of excellent service these days is the notion that there is nowhere else most consumers turn to receive the same level of service. A food truck that doesn’t start building rapport with their guests and provide excellent service is always going to lose out to the truck down the street that does.