Marketing helped Hawkers earn Michelin Star

Which marketing wizards helped these hawkers bag those much coveted Michelin stars?

Little did Mr Chan Hon Meng of Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles and Mr Tang Chay Seng of Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles expect, when they set up business years ago, that one day some Michelin guide food investigators would drop by their hawker stall to relish their refined fare for exquisite taste and immaculate cooking methods.

However, that is exactly what happened last month and now they can proudly declare that they offer “high-quality cooking, worth a stop.”

For those who are unaware, these two establishments were awarded one Michelin star in July this year and despite this, both owners have declared that prices will be remain the same.

What will change, is that they will open their shutters earlier to accommodate higher demand. Both men explained that even before the award, their customers were already queueing between 30-45 minutes for their food, hence it would make sense that the after this, the snaking queue would be even longer.

So how on earth did these two nondescript stalls gain the attention of some fancy Michelin guide inspector? If their customers’ tenacity and patience in queueing is anything to go by, one can only conclude that these hawkers have relationship marketing down pat.

None of them have an extensive marketing team running campaigns and EDMs or Google Analytics to dissect and analyze their clientele’s behavior. Instead, what they got right where so many big companies have failed, is to understand and ace relationship marketing with their customers.

Definition of relationship marketing can be found on Tech Target:

“Relationship marketing is a facet of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales. The goal of relationship marketing (or customer relationship marketing) is to create strong, even emotional, customer connections to a brand that can lead to ongoing business, free word-of-mouth promotion and information from customers that can generate leads.”

 Wow, what a mouthful. What it means, is this:

Care about your customers

After all, they are the heart of your business. Your mission ad vision should be aligned with what your loyal clients need and want. The relationship you build is one that will and should stand the test of time. So, listen to their needs and provide them with the solution.

Stay authentic

This adage is so true and you will hear it wherever you go. Stay you. It is the easiest thing to do, and the sincerest form of sharewashing. Your strength is the ability to admit that you don’t know everything, but you are willing to learn and grow. “I like Mr. Know It All “said nobody ever.

Share experiences, not sell products

People love it when you have a story to tell, and how better to do so than to create meaningful moments with them? Take them on your journey, grow together and make a difference in each other’s lives. Loyalty is cemented when your customers trust you to have their best interests at heart and when your heart is them.

Mr Chan summed it up aptly when he said, “My thoughts are that you must treat your customers like your relatives, and they’re your judges. Or we must be like doctors, providing healing for their stomachs and health.”

Now…. excuse me, but I have a queue to join.

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