Coffee on Whole Wheat, Hold the Mayo


I spoke with a friend recently, and he was telling me about all the things I needed to do downtown. He’s lived here since we graduated college and is very in tune with the best local fun and fare. I told him we need to get together for lunch soon, and he says, “Absolutely, there’s this place we need to go called the Downtown Coffee Company … they have awesome sandwiches…” (I’ve changed the name because I don’t like making people angry, my apologies to any businesses actually named the Downtown Coffee Company, this is not about you.)

Keeping in Touch

I almost laughed out loud at the comment. Now a typical person might hear that and think, well they must have good sandwiches, but I hear that and think. I bet they are out of touch with their client base.

I began to wonder when the last time they conducted a customer survey was. Often time business owners become so attached to what they’ve created, they refuse to look outside the box, and consider change.

I took a moment and collected my thoughts, then I asked my friend, I said how’s the coffee there?

“Well it’s ok, it’s not Other Coffee Shop.” (Again this is not the name of the coffee shop, though I refuse to apologize to anyone who named their store Other Coffee Shop… Come on you can do better than that).

It’s So Much More Than Coffee

I tell you this story to implore you, if you’re a business owner or marketing manager be in tune with your clientele. Ask them what they are saying about you. What do they like best? What aren’t they crazy about?

I’m not saying the Downtown Coffee Company needs to change their name. That can be a costly endeavor. What I am saying is that if Downtown Coffee Company knew that people were spreading the news about their sandwiches, they could embrace that. In fact being named a Coffee themed name with a sandwich-focused tagline can be just crazy enough to stick in people’s minds.

So I petition to you subtly renamed coffee company, listen to you customers, and help them to spread the word. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee I would never step foot into your establishment, had it not been for a strong ambassador who took the time to explain where you excel. Arm all of your customers with that information.

Conducting Surveys


Note: It took me quite a while to find a typewriter graphic, but I think it was worth it

And to all of you other business owners out there, be sure you are regularly reaching out to your clients. Get their feedback, and don’t be afraid to make changes based on what they say. Your customers are your greatest resource, and unfortunately too many great ideas are being left on the table.

This can be done several ways, it may be as easy as asking a few open ended questions on your Facebook page, or asking for clients to fill out comment cards for the chance to win a prize. You could even get really candid answers by taking some time to be out in the midst of your clients, and sit down with them and have a conversation. You never know what might come out of that time, but I promise, even if it reaffirms what you are already doing, it’s time well spent.

Downtown Coffee Company – Our Sandwiches are so good we decided to promote our coffee

(It took me a few minutes to come up with that, so I threw it in at the end, instead of scrolling back up)

Categories: Survey Marketing