It’s no secret—small businesses thrive by offering quality customer service. An owner that knows the names of customers and goes the extra mile to help them get what they need is an owner that will create a loyal base of clientele. Jason Alvey has done that and then some.
As the owner of , a specialty beer store in St. Louis Park, Alvey thanks every customer with a “Thanks for coming in mate,” as they head out the door with beer in hand. It’s just one of the things the stout Australian does to promote a hometown feel in his store.
“We have hundreds and hundreds of regulars,” he said. “We know their names, we know their kids' names, where they work and what they like to drink.”
Alvey continues that personal connection online.
“Someone once told me Facebook is like word of mouth on steroids, and they were right,” he said. “I have no idea how small businesses functioned 10 years ago without it.”
With almost 5,000 likes on Facebook and a mass email list of 8,000 customers, Alvey has discovered the power of social media.
“When we send out an email with new products, we have people come into the store within minutes looking for that specific product,” he said. “It’s amazing.”
Alvey, who moved to the states in 2001, makes sure the store’s Facebook page has some personality. With multiple posts each day and pictures of events, “it’s not a faceless corporate page.”
When the store a few months back, Alvey used Facebook to promote the move and even took pictures of the last two people to buy beer in his old store. Pictures of the grand opening are also posted on the site, showing hundreds of people packing the new store.
“I love The Four Firkins,” customer Ben Olson said. “The 'Cheers' theme song always comes to mind when I go there because it feels like a tight group of people that work and shop there.”
It’s those kinds of remarks that keep Alvey at the store more than 70 hours a week.
“It’s the customers that keep me here,” he said. “If I stop getting invited to weddings and barbecues, than I’m doing something wrong, because it’s all about the personal connections at The Four Firkins.”