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Greene King Customer Care Team
Abbot House
Westgate Brewery
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1QT
Email: CustomerCareTeam@greeneking.co.uk
Phone: 0845 850 4545

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Communications plannning

If you develop a better understanding of your customers (and your potential customers) you can build stronger relationships with them. You'll be doing this on a personal basis when they walk though the door, however you can also communicate through other ways by telling them what's going on and encouraging return visits to your pub.

Top reasons for breaking up

Like it or not, you are in a relationship with your customers. Marriage guidance counsellors say that the following are what cause most relationships to end. This is true of pubs too!

1. Getting attacted to someone else
Your competitors are working hard to lure customers away from you. It’s up to you to keep your relationship going. Don’t take your customer for granted.

2. Incompatibility

Think about the core customers using your pub. If you hold a loud music event it may attract a lot of people but some customers may not like it.

3. Lack of proper body maintenance

In the pub world that means you have to keep things clean, make sure that everything is in working order and provide excellent service. Look after your pub and you look after your customers.

4. Ignoring or showing disrespect

A valued customer wants to be recognised as such. Tell them you love them (well, tell them you appreciate their custom) and refer to them by name rather than ‘dear customer’. It makes them feel valued.

5. Lack of communication

‘He never tells me what he’s doing.’ The answer is simple: communicate with customers and they’ll keep you in their hearts. They’ll visit more often and they’ll spend more money with you.

How to communicate with your customers

It's part of life that we get sales messages wherever we look. As a consequence of this, many customers become 'blind' to communications. But the good news is that you CAN make it work if you use the right medium and if you get the message right too.

Use the right medium

You should decide how you want to communicate with customers. Some messages are best delivered personally but others are well suited to different delivery mechanisms.

  • Post – this is a great way to send information. If a personalised direct mail campaign works out expensive, think of putting leaflets through letterboxes as a cheaper alternative.
  • Phone – you need to be sensitive if you use the phone to contact customers but this can be an effective way of getting a message across.
  • Email – is a cheap form of direct marketing: it's an easy way to target a wide range of people at the same time. But watch out for spam programmes which could filter out your message.
  • Text – provides the opportunity for personal messages and can be delivered when it will have the most impact.


Use the right style of message

Think about what you want to say. Sometimes a single message works well but other times a general communication might be more appropriate. Always use a style that's right for the medium:

Example text message: Hi John, can we count on your support at the football on Saturday? Peter at The Bull.

This takes advantage of the personal contact you can achieve by mobile phone. The message is short and sharp and asks a direct question rather than trying to hard-sell.

The following is a longer message but it demonstrates that you value your customer and even rewards them for their loyalty.

Example general communication (printed letter and programme of events posted to customer): Hello John, You're a regular at The Bull so we thought it might be a good idea to send you a list of events we're planning over the next 3 months so that you can put them in your diary. There's good news – we're offering a free pint if you book tickets in advance: pop in and you can have a beer on us!

How to reach new customers

As you don't hold information on new customers, they present a far greater challenge. 

If you have a tight target area, write a letter to each potential customer or, better still, knock on their door and introduce yourself and your business. If you're trying to cover a wide area, select the streets with the target properties and talk to the local newsagent who delivers to those streets and arrange for your mailer to be delivered with the newspaper.

Getting (and managing) customer details

To manage a distance relationship with customers, you will need to establish how to contact them. Think about:

  • Letter or leaflet posted to them
  • Telephone calls and text messages
  • Emails and a website for your pub
  • Personal visits (works well for community groups and sports teams)


People like to be contacted in different ways, so you may need to gather different types of information. This is a big task and you need to be dedicated. But the good news is that if customers have given you their contact information, they know who you are. This makes them predisposed to any contact from you and means they are more likely to respond if you write to them.