Capture customers — and don’t let them go

By Phil Davison

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business plan Profit Bii licensee

Keep your customers on board, says Phil Davison
Keep your customers on board, says Phil Davison
Leaving your customers in charge of your relationship is a recipe for disaster. Your customers are certainly not as motivated as you are to make your pub successful, so if you want to see your profits grow you need to put yourself in the driving seat.

I’ve beaten this drum many times before and it’s one I will continue to beat for as long as I am involved in this industry. It is simple: you need to collect information from your customers so that you can contact them again, so that you can add them to your customer database and encourage them to return.

You need to know about them so that you can sell to them, tempt them with offers and wish them happy birthday. The list of possibilities and profit opportunities is endless, but if you don’t capture their details, you can’t do any of this.

To cut to the chase, if you don’t have a system to capture the contact details of your customers, you are simply waving goodbye to potential future profit — you’re watching them possibly forget about your pub as they walk out of the door.

Without gathering contact information about your customers, your whole business plan is built on a cross-your- fingers policy. You hope they will remember you. You hope they will tell other people about you. You hope they will visit you again, just as they said they would.

Marketing is, sadly, a dirty or sophisticated word among many licensees. Data-capture is often thought of as too advanced or clever for a pub. This is fantastic news for you because the fewer the pubs that are doing it, the more effective and profitable it will be for you.

So, now for the really important news: it’s 2012! The age of loyalty cards, Facebook, Twitter, text and now QR (Quick Response) codes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking — and I am 50-plus myself, but if you’re not capturing customer data and using it as an important tool, you are not just waving good-bye to customers — you’re losing out on lots of potential profit.

So please be sure you are collecting the right customer information and developing loyal returning customers in your pub. And spare a thought for all those licensees whose whole business plan is built on a policy of keeping their hopeful fingers crossed.  
Good luck!

  • Philip Davison is licensee of the Sun in Wood, Ashmore Green, Newbury, Berkshire and BII Licensee of the Year 2009

Related topics Marketing

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