While studying at STMIK Bani Saleh Bekasi, there was a favorite chicken noodle and meatball seller who sold in front of the mosque in the Taman Kartini Bekasi housing complex. Every noon prayer, many students gathered to buy chicken noodles with meatballs. Although this chicken noodle and meatball seller only sold in the form of a pushcart, he was able to attract many customers because of the good quality of the food and satisfying service.
One of the advantages of the seller is his ability to remember the preferences of each customer. For example, when I ordered, he never forgot to remove the green onions from my chicken noodles because I had told him that I don’t like green onions. If my wife, Dear Rey, ordered, he didn’t forget to add fried onions. For others, he sometimes added a lot of chili sauce, or for other customers, he gave a little sauce only. This shows that he pays attention to his customers’ wishes carefully and remembers them to satisfy the buyers.
I thought before that remembering customers’ preferences happened naturally because he did it often. It turns out it was by design. He deliberately did it because he himself felt happy when receiving the same service when buying goods, so he tried to remember customers’ preferences even though the number of customers was increasing.
In management terms, this habit is called Customer Oriented and Customer Engagement. This means that he focuses on customers’ needs and is involved with them to increase their satisfaction.
One day, he was no longer alone. Someone who looked like him came and helped him sell food. His tasks included cleaning bowls, serving customers, receiving payment or giving change, and so on. He could be called an assistant chicken noodle and meatball seller.
I asked the older seller, “Who is he?”
“Oh, that’s my brother. He’s helping me,” said the older seller.
After a while, his position changed. This time the older seller served the customers while his younger brother made the chicken noodles with meatballs for the customers. Even then, he was watched by the older seller because I heard the older seller reminding him a few times, “For this one, don’t use green onions, while for this one, just a little sauce…”
A few weeks later, the presence of the older seller became increasingly rare. He now only came 3 times a week, then became once a week, and after a few months, he disappeared completely. It turned out that the younger brother had taken over the business. He was now the one who made and sold the chicken noodles with meatballs.
I asked the younger brother, “Where is your brother?”
“Oh, he’s still around. He just helps me manage the business from behind the scenes now,” replied the younger brother.
Wow, that’s cool. If his younger brother tries to sell in a new place, it might fail due to his different mindset. Yes, he has the experience, but he must engage the new customers by himself. The older seller has a better strategy. He chose to transfer his skills, then he himself went on to open new business opportunities. The probability of success is higher because he has proven experience and a mindset.
The younger brother had learned a lot from the older seller about customer orientation and engagement. He had seen how important it was to pay attention to customers’ preferences and needs and how it could increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. He also learned how to manage the business efficiently so that he could serve more customers while still maintaining the quality of the food and service.
Note: Image source from here.