By Georgina Wild, marketing manager for market research firm him!

Do you think that all customers know exactly what they want when entering a retail outlet? Well 31% of customers walking into a coffee chain tell him! that they do not know what they are going to buy, so there is plenty of opportunity to influence them.

Only 2% of customers said that the staff recommended a drink to them - what a massive opportunity for staff to up-sell. Whether it is simply asking the customer "do you need any help deciding?" or encouraging a customer to go large ("go on, you deserve it"), or encouraging the customer to try a new product ("have you seen this new product? It is proving to be very popular"), or premium products ("it’s Friday, why not treat yourself?"), 27% of customers are there to relax and take a break so are more likely to indulge.

With drink purchases, 22% of customers said they read the menu to decide which to have. This highlights the importance of clear and concise menu boards. As they are often positioned behind the serving staff they need to be big and easy to read. Often writing is swiggly and not easy to read.

Only 2% of customers said that they chose their drink because it was on promotion or special offer, so consider having a coffee or other ’drink of the week’. Highlight any special new drinks or a ’drink of the week’ outside, on an A-board.

With the warmer weather now arriving, do you have a good selection of fresh juices, milk shakes, frappucinos and so on, to caterer for the demand? Staff can also help to up-sell other snacks and treats very politely, such as by asking, "would you like a piece of our delicious chocolate cake to go with that drink?" Frontline staff are the key to additional sales.