I remember growing up as a child and always wanting to be a break-dancer. I grew up in the era with boom boxes and big hair rock bands. As I reminisce, I was probably the most confused kid because I loved hip-hop and break dancing music but I was also a big fan of rock and roll.
For some reason, music bands like Guns and Roses, and Poison ignited a fire inside of me. I used to pretend that I was holding the microphone like Axel while I swayed from side to side. Now that I have aged a little bit, I like Neil Diamond, and Kenny Rogers, coupled with classics from Marvin Gaye, and the Isley Brothers.
One day I was conducting a focus group with some students and I asked them about their musical choices. “Boy-O-Boy!” I got “schooled” rather quickly. One 9-year old girl in particular, grabbed my iPhone and started pulling up all the latest and greatest artists from my phone’s internet search feature.
At that point, I started asking them about “back in the day” artists. Crickets. They were clueless. For that reason, I felt it should be my duty to bridge that gap by playing music from the past and then listening to some of their music from the present.
My point? There is a generational gap that exists and we have to bridge it in order to fulfill our customer’s needs. On social media there’s “Throw Back Thursdays” (TBT).” Why not incorporate this into our business. We can use Thursdays to introduce something that the students may not have full knowledge of…like the rotary phone, for instance.
Ask questions to help them engage with the object. You’ll be surprised at how little they know about items that defined our lives and are now obsolete. Just keep it simple and have some fun!
To be fair, let them teach you a few smartphone shortcuts or even provide tips/suggestions for a new app. We have to try and build a relationship with our customers, consistently.
Each grade level (elementary, middle and high school) will have a new set of customers each and every year. The key? Continuing to keep existing ones and wooing the new ones. Once you have established a great relationship with your customers it will make the process of getting them to eat with you much simpler.