February 22, 2020 Jerson 0 Comments

How to increase the Word Of Mouth of your Specialty Coffee Shop

how to increase the word of mouth of your specialty coffee shop

Many specialty coffee businesses owners don’t know this:

word of mouth statistics

This turns these pointers into the highest ranked source for trustworthiness

And this is NOT a surprise since the own consumers are the ones promoting that specific product or service (rather than an organisation promoting its own products).

Makes sense, right?

Now, imagine how your specialty coffee business would change if you find a way to increase the word of mouth

The good news is that I am about to give you 3 killer word of mouth strategies that you can apply immediately for your coffee business.

But first, let me explain what the word of mouth is (in case it’s not clear to you 😊):

The word of mouth (WOM) happens when someone external to your business recommends your offer* (product, service or local shop) to their friends, colleagues and family.

*(NOTE: The word offer does not refer to a promotion. It makes reference to that thing you are trading in exchange for time and/or money. This could be your products, services, your newsletter or your local coffee business where you may offer coffee, cakes, retail coffee beans, etc).

(NOTE II: We are growing the “to go community” for all Marketing-related questions about Specialty Coffee businesses. Join our Facebook Group here)

Now that you learned what the word of mouth is, let’s talk about the killer strategies!

These kick-ass approaches are, as follow:

    • Overdeliver/excess expectations
    • Instagram Coffee posting (not what you think)
    • Referral program

1. Overdeliver/Exceed expectations

Exceeding customer expectations could be the difference between having a customer coming back to your shop (and recommend you to her friends) and no seeing that customer over anymore.

customer service expectations

Let me exemplify it in this way:

When someone visits your specialty coffee shop, this person will naturally make specific expectations about your business in her head.

So, at the moment she leaves your shop, there are three things that happen:

    • You didn’t meet expectations: whatever the customer was expecting from you when she decides to visit your coffee shop, you didn’t meet her expectations.

The most common reasons for this are the experience and the offer itself. When it comes to the offer, there is little to be done here other than changing it. 

However, the experience part is something you can immediately take action on.

Some of the elements that affect the experience are:

        • the Customer Service
        • the shop visual design
        • the product visual design.


Among these three, I strongly believe that is the customer service part the one that is responsible most of the time to underdeliver

This may be due to rude staff, showing little care about your customers and only being there for their money, and the list goes on.

At this point, I believe you already understand that you need to avoid NOT meeting expectations, otherwise, you will be often seeing 1 to 2 stars Google reviews or very bad comments on your social posts

Or even worse, they recommend their friends, family and colleges NOT to visit your coffee shop.

    • You meet expectations: in this case, you will have met the expectations your customer had before she comes to visit your coffee shop. 

This is the neutral point, where you don’t get bad reviews or rating, but you also don’t get good ones. You simply don’t get any.

And the reason for this is that you didn’t give them any special reason to do it. You simply did your job. 

This is why I always recommend you to…

    • You exceed expectations: This is the ideal stage and you should aim to do this every time. 

At this point, your customers will leave your location with a memorable positive experience

Also, they are very much more likely to leave a 5-star rating and review on Google Maps and/or Facebook.

Now, let me give you 3 ideas that you can apply straight away to exceed expectations:

      • Service: Focus on providing exceptional customer service, make quick jokes to your customers when they order to the till or start a conversation with them while they wait for their coffee.

Also, keep a balance between the service time and coffee quality (I recommend that you allow yourself up to 3 minutes for each coffee for higher quality, but still fast service).

I know that this sounds very simple and evident, but this really works and will create a memorable moment in their head (which eventually leads them to come back). 

      • Small Treat: Offer your customers a free cake or snack when they spend more than £25 in one single order.

This is something that they won’t expect and will also be unique and memorable for them (not other specialty coffee businesses are doing this).

This will also motivate them to repeat that behaviour (spend that much in one order) as you awarded them for it. And even better, they will tell their friends, family and colleagues about that!

      • Product: Make sure your product looks nice at first sight (and also taste nice).

For example, you should aim to serve every coffee with latte art, and then motivate your customers to share their coffee on Instagram, (I will talk more about this below).

Sounds amazing, right?

Talking about sharing on Instagram, let me introduce the second approach:

2. Instagram Coffee Posting

Imagine how many people you could reach if your own customers decide to share their coffee on Instagram (and tag your shop in the location)?

Instagram latte art

This will not only spread the word about your business but will also awake the curiosity of new audiences and motivate conversations about your coffee.

These conversations will eventually end up on visiting your specialty coffee shop.

It’s the perfect word of mouth strategy, right?

But then, how could you motivate this behaviour in your shop?


You can print small banners that say: Share your coffee on Instagram. Use this hashtag: #brandname. Then, put them in each of your tables and in front of the till.

Or…you can also encourage that behaviour in the till when they are purchasing your coffee.

Or both.

Whatever you do, it is always a good idea to promote that behaviour in social posts. 

And it can have an even stronger, long-term repercussion if you use a branded element on it. For example, a branded hashtag.

Now that you know about this killer strategy, let’s now see how you can award this behaviour.

(NOTE: We are growing the “to go community” for all Marketing-related questions about Specialty Coffee businesses. Join our Facebook Group here)

3. Use a Referral Program

This is the powerful one that is out there, but not many specialty coffee shops are using it.

And it’s also an amazing way to market your coffee shop.

But in case you are not following me…

Referral program

And this is done by giving your customers something in exchange when they bring friends to your business.

For example, let’s say that customer X brings his friend Y to your coffee shop and both of them buy a coffee.

In exchange for the referral, you give to customer X a free coffee and to customer Y a 25% discount in his first coffee.

Sounds like a deal, right?

This will not only get you new customers to your door, but will also encourage this behaviour of recommending your business to friends (because you award them for this).

If you also have your own Roastery, and you sell your coffee online through deliveries and subscriptions, you can also apply the same rule.

And here are two tools I recommend you to use for referrals:

  • Referrizer: This is a specific tool designed for referrals for local businesses, so if you are local a coffee shop owner, this is the one to go.


*(NOTE: This is an affiliate link. See Important Note at the end of this post for more info) 


*(NOTE: This is an affiliate link. See Important Note at the end of this post for more info)

And there it is.

You now have my three strategies I use to increase the word of mouth of my clients. 

So now is your turn to get your sleeves up and plan your strategy.

Are you using any other strategy to potentiate the word of mouth that I didn’t mention?

👇If so, let us know in the comments👇

*(IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog post includes some external affiliate links. This means that I will receive a small commission when you purchase products in these or get involved in some of the plans. While I only include affiliate links of products that can be extremely useful for coffee entrepreneurs, the benefit obtained from this will help me produce more amazing content, just like this blog post).

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Jerson is a paid social expert who helps startups (mostly in the eCommerce & Info products space) to generate hundreds of thousands online with Facebook & Instagram Ads.

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