Improving restaurant customer engagement and satisfaction starts with the ability to utilize technology for more quality customer service. In turn, it attracts new customers and develops a higher chance of customers wanting to return again.
Restaurant technology is rooted in customer analytics, which provides greater insight into purchasing decisions and interactions within the restaurant. By knowing your customer base better, the analytics helps inform restaurant decisions and how to adjust services accordingly.
Customer Analytics For Improving Services
Customer analytics software serves as a vertical business intelligence platform, where siloed data is consolidated and directed to flow through the organization to improve services across the board. With the data in hand, restaurant owners and managers can understand the analytics better in order to turn data into real-world action to improve upon their business model.
The data is automatically collected and shows intelligent analyses on trends, anomalies, and customers insights. From there, business owners can increase profits, adjust services, and resolve issues quickly from anywhere.
Top Three Ways to Improve Customer Service
Collecting restaurant data helps determine the needs of customers and employees to improve the organization and flow of the business. By recognizing the top three ways to improve upon customer service based on data, you can be more informed on how to manage decisions for a higher return of sales and customer loyalty.
Improve Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is how restaurants are able to establish a connection with customers for the long or short term. The goal for any restaurant is to improve upon relations in order to cultivate customer loyalty and ensure services are up to a high standard. An engaged customer often has an emotional connection to the restaurant, whether that is through the enjoyment of the food offered, or the friendship with the staff. Highly engaged customers also are more likely to buy more and make recommendations to their friends or family.
According to Gallup, engaged customers are 56% more likely to go to a casual dining restaurant every month, where only 28% are more likely to visit their favorite fast food restaurant. By knowing the trends, your business is able to understand customer satisfaction software better in order to create deals or customer loyalty programs.
Customer satisfaction software is able to,
- Identify top-selling items
- Recognize underperforming items and how to improve sales
- Understand the perception of customer experience in each restaurant location
- Show slow and peak hours to improve special offers, discounts, and happy hours
- Launch marketing outreach programs to establish a customer base and reach the right target market
The information collected within the software shows a clear picture of how to create strategies for customer engagement and retention. The information also provides an avenue for marketing and outreach efforts that are more informed for a higher return rate of investment.
Utilizing platforms is also an important part of customer engagement that can sometimes be overlooked without the right software. Tactics include,
- Web push notifications
- Email marketing
- Online reservations
- POS systems across multiple devices
- Reward and loyalty programs
- Discounts, sales, and promotions
- CRM communication across restaurants
When not using digital systems to connect with customers, there is also the important aspect of connecting with customers in person. This includes talking with customers at the host stand, at the table, receiving the bill, or signing the final receipt. Each interaction is important for customer satisfaction and can make a difference in customer reviews and perception of their experience. The customer should feel like they matter, and that includes training employees to meet a certain standard within the restaurant.
Know Your Marketing Channels
Restaurant technology has increased significantly, which means the marketing technology has advanced enough for owners to recognize digital trends and what their main marketing channels should be.
Owners and managers often use social media, blogs, SEO, and email marketing to reach new customers and retain loyal ones by communicating with a clear brand voice across all channels. The most commonly used method is through social media, which is a readily available market that can be set locationally to where a restaurant is. Nearly 50% of consumers engage with a restaurant on social media and is a great place to access positive reviews.
Digital marketing approaches include,
- Posting updates
- Sharing photos and videos of food
- Using a consistent voice to convey an experience
- Increase brand awareness with targeted posts
- Use SEO (search engine optimization) for more website traffic
- Encouraging reviews
- SEM (search engine marketing) for Google Ads and other ad placement
Digital marketing approaches look different for each restaurant, but by using automation tools, you can better define what approaches work best for your restaurant.
Use Customer Relations Management Tools
Customer relations management, also known as CRM, is a vital piece for maintaining positive customer relations. Restaurant management software is easily integrated with CRM tools, which gives a whole view of analyzed customer data for more acute decision making.
The ability to export data systems also helps you or a manager access the information when needed. A CRM system helps with customer engagement and can show when loyal customers spend more, repeat orders, and provide recommendations to their community.
One aspect of a CRM system includes loyalty management software, where you can create a loyalty rewards program based on the data provided by the customer engagement metrics. This can include greetings, special offers, regular updates, and customer feedback.
Run A Smarter Restaurant
Utilizing software helps you build a smarter and more informed restaurant. Technology has advanced in tracking data, informing decisions with analytics, and creating a smoother process for operations and customer relations. With an increased online presence and a CRM system, you’ll be ready to expand to new and loyal customers with ease.