In today’s connected world, there are certain technologies that consumers have come to expect from restaurants. It starts with an updated, easy-to-navigate website and regularly monitored social media accounts, but it doesn’t stop there.
Your customers are engaging with your restaurant long before they walk through your doors and well after they leave. Today’s technology – including customer relationship management software – is designed to help you interact with customers where and when they are ready to interact with you, so take advantage of the opportunity at the right times.
Before their Visit
Your customers are exposed to hundreds of restaurant marketing images throughout their day. The way to gain an upper hand is by offering incentives to visit your restaurant that consumers are already searching for online. People have come to expect a modern restaurant to offer online ordering; a mobile app; online reservations; delivery, and loyalty program rewards. These are no longer perks in the eyes of most of your customers. In fact, many of today’s millennial consumers are only interested in restaurants that offer online ordering and delivery, so don’t miss this demographic right out of the gate.
Inside the Restaurant
Once customers enter your establishment, they’ll be looking for familiar technology. You can increase sales by showcasing an easy-to-read digital menu board with customizable menu options; providing free Wi-Fi; and offering the option to place an order with a member of your staff or via quick-and-easy payment options such as a mobile app, payment kiosk, or voice. Even when diners opt to eat in the restaurant instead of order online for delivery or pick-up, they expect their experience to be fast and seamless. The more you can do to help customers order and pay quickly while also allowing them to customize their experience, the better.
Your engagement with your guests doesn’t stop when they walk out your door and return home. A great customer relationship management system automatically compiles the information you’ve gathered through reservations, online and in-store orders, gift card purchases, etc., and creates robust customer profiles. This information allows you to stay in touch with each guest, customize your marketing to each individual, reward frequent visits, and more.
Whether you’re opening your first location or you’ve been in business for decades, providing customers with the technology they’ve grown to expect is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure you’re engaging with your guests. Ideally, your technologies act like a magnet to attract new and returning guests. These technologies also enable this engagement to occur at each point of contact with your restaurant. With ongoing engagement, you have an opportunity to increase their loyalty, and ultimately, boost your sales. In the end, your efforts will pay off when you achieve your goal—a successful business.