I love FB for this reason. Most of our promos go out through FB, as we have over 2k members and it's the site most customers mention when they come in. : )
Cody Kirkland said:Having a Facebook page is pretty helpful. At the shop I manage, I post updates every few days about new coffees we have, daily drink specials, or events.
When SmartCup was just beginning we did some Market Research. The customer response was very significant in three responses on what they found missing in their coffee experience. They wanted choice, being able to buy any coffee or tea that the shop offered, not just what was being brewed. They wanted it fresh, not only fresh brewed, but fresh ground. And they wanted to be able to customize their experience beyond just adding sweetener, dairy or flavored syrup.
"Upselling" gives you the ability to have that portion of your customers who truly enjoy premium or single origin coffee, not only buy a fresh cup of that bean, but after having experienced it, buy it in bulk. You may also move more customers into premium customers if they could taste various beans.
This is such a general issue that it is hard to figure out where to start without knowing your particular situation. Since you have already focused on cutting costs, perhaps you should now look at increasing revenue. Here are some thoughts:
1. Do people who live within 5 miles or work within 1 mile of your shop know you exist? If not, make sure they do. In residential areas, see if you can drop a leaflet by every household. In commercial area, see if you can visit every office/business and talk to the management. Spend at least one hour every day doing just that.
2. If people know you exist and choose not to come in, find out why. Look within your organization for clues. Are your customers' experience in your shop a pleasant one? Ask a couple of people who left you, not your current customers. You say, "raised all prices to compete with local shops." I am not sure what that really means. Is raising prices in the middle of a recession the right move?
Oh, yeah... and to build on what Mike and Jonathan said, make your biggest focus be on the quality of experience. Marketing money is wasted if you don't capture the majority of your first-time visitors.
You never mentioned quality in your initial post, which makes me wonder if you are improving that as well. Seeing COGS dropping, prices going up, and bare-bones staffing are red flags. Are your drinks still the best they can be and getting better? How is staff morale? How about customer service?
If you do nothing else, try your best to make every customer a return customer - 100% retention.