The restaurant industry is full of challenges — mounting customer expectations, getting people to identify themselves in transactions, how to handle mobile orders as they come in, lots of different systems and tech stacks — the list goes on. Many of these challenges have been caused by the fact that the restaurant experience has changed so dramatically in the past decade. And with competition coming from many different angles this is no easy feat. Competing on the quality of the product offered is no longer enough when consumers are demanding convenience and personalized experiences whether they’re ordering via an app, website or in store. The restaurants that are able to overcome these obstacles and are capable of executing personalized experiences that drive specific behaviors will reap the benefits of more loyal and profitable customers. Now, here’s an obvious question: how? How can restaurants succeed in this brutal climate? In this blog post, we’re laying out the restaurant success roadmap — keep reading to uncover the key components of a customer strategy required in order to crush the competition.
Build Creative Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are the best way to establish a direct relationship with a customer and for making an unknown customer known, while providing a reason for customers to consistently visit and purchase from a restaurant.
Loyalty programs can be successful, however, they need to include a defined strategy. Generic, one-size-fits-all programs get lost in the shuffle and lose attention. Many brands have trained their customers to wait for big sales weekends, or holidays. A discount-centric approach to loyalty not only incentivizes the wrong behavior, but it also fails to deepen customer relationships. Now imagine activities popping up above or below this ‘equator’ of calendar events. These are proactive events that are triggered by a customer’s individual positive action. An offer is redeemed; a product is shared on social; an achievement was reached, etc.
Each of these good things begets other positive actions. A customer bought a burger and fries, why not suggest a soda to go with it? They’ve spent $50? Send them an offer that if they spend ten more dollars, then they get exclusive perks like no delivery charge. These type of incentives are tailored to the specific customer action and are only triggered by each customer individually.
Drive High Value Behaviors
For restaurants to be successful they must focus on increasing the frequency of customer visits and the size of each check. Encourage customers to perform specific, high-value behaviors using targeted campaigns and offers. Restaurants need the ability to create rich segments of customers using demographic and behavioral data, as well as calculated metrics such as customer lifetime value and propensity to churn. These segments can be used to fuel different types of campaigns. For example, message customers with a high propensity to churn to entice them to make a purchase, or thank customers who made five purchases over the last thirty days.
Leverage Strategic Integrations At Point of Sale
It’s important that restaurants can integrate directly with point of sale systems in order to enable capabilities for customer facing staff to incentivize larger and more frequent purchases. With this, employees have the ability to lookup a customer at the register via phone number, email address or loyalty card number. It also provides them with the critical information needed to deliver a personalized experience such as name, loyalty points balance and available offers. This is crucial information for employees to have at their fingertips in order to upsell at moments of impact with specific product recommendations for each customer, or by providing patrons with an offer on their next purchase to entice another visit.
Trust a Solution Engineered for Data Privacy
Data privacy and protection is more important than ever. Your tech stack must be purpose-built to handle all customer requests under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means that when asked, a company must be able to confirm whether it is collecting personal data and provide a copy of that data in a readable format within one month of the request.
When asked, a brand must be able to quickly remove all data about a known consumer and confirm this removal. Consumers can be deleted or have certain details erased directly within the platform in question, including all personal, collected, and calculated data associated with a specific consumer.
Faced with the mandate to enter the next generation of loyalty and customer engagement, restaurants have a lot of choice when it comes to technology. One of the key things to keep in mind is that the teams that have been most successful making the transition to the new generation have not deployed tech just for the sake of it, but rather, they have deployed tech to drive business goals. Find a solution that is an attractive –one that is economical, quick to deploy, offers a transparent, immediate path to positive ROI; a solution that will allow for a unified view of your customers across locations, channels, and databases and will lay the foundation for omnichannel personalization and online & offline customer engagement.