…are you turning away customers because you only want a certain type of customer?

I went to a restaurant a few days ago with my wife and daughter; a popular Cuban food spot in a trendy neighborhood that my daughter loves.

Too Many Restrictions On Your Customers

As we entered the doors and were met by the hostess, she asked, “Do you have a reservation?”. Uh oh, was this going to be a problem? Would they take us? Is this spot so hip that only the “beautiful people” get in and then only with a reservation? I waited.

In today’s post, I want to show you how a business can still uphold their policies and procedures while satisfying a new customer at the same time. Let’s continue…

No, we don’t,” my wife responded to her”. “Ok, give me a moment,” the hostess said as she then entered the dining room. We patiently waited and wondered if we should think about finding another spot…but we were hungry.

A few moments later the hostess returned and asked us to follow her to our table. Great news! We got in.

While seated against a brick wall in a busy dining room, we scanned the restaurant. It was nice, and so was our meal – even without a reservation!

Every business sets the parameters they want to operate under:

  • Open and closing times
  • Cash only or credit
  • 7-day return policy
  • Reservation-only or not
  • No pets
  • Final sale
  • No discount coupons allowed
  • 24-hour cancellation policy
  • Jackets required
  • Etc.

But, to be successful and appeal to as many potential consumers possible, can we afford to be so stringent in our “wants” that we turn away business that doesn’t fit within our self-imposed rules?

We enjoyed our meal and will definitely return another time. But if the restaurant insisted on only accepting those with a reservation, we would’t have had the chance to enjoy their offerings and probably wouldn’t try to go there again.

Think about that next time business is slow. Are you turning away customers because you only want a certain type of customer? One who makes it easy for you and that you can plan ahead for?

Even if your product or service is great, does your prohibitions limit the number of people who are willing to enjoy it? If so, what good are your rules?