At Hayday Coffee in Atlantic City, the staff gets to know each customer one cup of coffee at a time.
“Get to Know Your Customers Day” is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter. The date reminds businesses to reach out to patrons and get to know them better.
Hayday Coffee General Manager Maddy Crowell knows the importance of greeting a customer as soon as they walk through the door.
“No matter whether a person is a local and comes in every day or they are a visitor and it is their first time in Atlantic City, we prioritize a warm customer greeting,” Crowell said.
“Sometimes it can be intimidating walking into a store where you are not familiar with what is being served,” she said. “But we make a special effort to make people comfortable as soon as they come in the door because we know they are making a conscious decision to come to Hayday Coffee instead of going to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.”
Getting to know their customer at Hayday Coffee also means “it is important to make them feel local,” Crowell said.
Another idea Hayday staff came up with to know their customers was to “shrink” their menu.
The coffee shop had a chalkboard boasting 30 different drinks, but Crowell said they decided to streamline the menu.
“It was daunting to look at all the choices, so we changed the menu to a basic latte or drip coffee so names were recognizable and people could automatically understand what it was they wanted to purchase,” she said.
She said customers felt more comfortable walking up to the counter to make an order and, as well, striking up a conversation.
Everyone is treated like a local, which means the Hayday staff gets to know customers and they keep them coming back.
Customers get noticed when they walk in and special attention is directed to anyone who stares at the menu for a very long time.
“I’ll engage that customer right away and ask if this is their first time in the shop. I get their story so I can help them figure out their flavor preferences and I find out whether they want a stronger drink with a boost of caffeine to start their day,” Crowell said.
Hayday Coffee staff are very much a part of getting to know their customers.
“A lot of new people come in and they’re saying it’s their first time here and their first time in Atlantic City as well and they don’t know what to do,” Crowell said.
Employees, who live in Atlantic City, crafted their own favorite picks of what to do in the resort.
Visitors can scan a QR code that shows all the staff’s favorite picks of things to do in Atlantic City and other activities happening around town.
“Guests who come in really appreciate that we’re acting like a Hayday concierge,” Crowell said.
Getting to know their customers isn’t just something Hayday does in person.
“On social media, we had a guest who named a sandwich,” she said. “We incorporated it in our menu and we had another sandwich we couldn’t think of anything to call it, so we posted it on social media and did a campaign asking the public for their name suggestions. It got more people interested and gave them a chance to take ownership in something local.”
The sandwich names that were picked were Mama Motts, the historic Italian restaurant of the same name on New York Avenue in Atlantic City, and a Miss’d HamAmerica (ham and gouda sandwich) that pays tribute to the annual drag pageant held in Atlantic City, named The Miss’d America pageant. (It was founded in the early 1990s as a spoof of the Miss America pageant also historically held in Atlantic City.)
“I think people really enjoyed that contest and most of our responses came from people on Instagram and Twitter,” the manager said.
The Hayday staff of five, which will increase during the summer months, receive training about how to get to know their customers too.
“I really reinforce that we are the first people that customers see in the morning or we are at the midpoint in the day when people are on their lunch break and need another boost,” Crowell said “That’s two more pinnacle moments in a person’s day to make it better.
Crowell reminds her staff: “You have two minutes to remember someone’s name and learn the facts about them like where they are from, their interests, and even how they feel about the weather.”
Getting to know your customer means engaging them a little bit more and learning a little bit more about them.
The bottom line, according to Crowell, “The longer the connection as you get to know your customer, the better it is for the business. It works both ways.”
Visit Hayday Coffee online at Haydaycoffee.com, email them at email@example.com or visit their brick-and-mortar coffee shop at 155 S. New York Ave. in the beach block of Atlantic City’s Orange Loop District. They are open Tuesday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 609-300-5142. They’re also on Facebook.com/HaydayCOffeeAC/ and can be tagged on social media with #SeeMyHayday.