Scott Muncaster, Managing Director at Adactus (www.adactus.co.uk), explains how to use the latest in technology to enhance your customer experience and build a long-lasting relationship with each person that walks into your establishment.
Gaining a single view of your customer today has never been more important. Customers want brands to interact with them personally, expecting an experience that they’re in control of and that’s tailored to their specific needs. When this happens not only does it leave an everlasting positive impression but it can then be the start of a long and fruitful relationship.
This is where technology comes into play, capturing intelligent data on every one of your customers from when and how they like to interact with your brand to what they like and dislike, their dietary requirements, or when it’s their birthday. Online reservations and ordering systems, as well as other customer touch points like your website, in store WIFI and social media, are all key to giving you the permission and insight you need to start conversations with your customers.
Take reservation software as a starting point. Imagine that a new customer has booked a table via your App or website. They have paid a deposit online, which reduces the chances of a ‘no-show’ while the data is captured giving your business valuable insight information on that person and party. You may even offer a pre-order service of the menu, so their food choices and dietary requirements are captured. Or ask for other pre-arrival needs from champagne on the table, wheelchair access, highchair for the children, etc. The customers arrive to a bespoke service and the data gives the chance to start more personalised and relevant customer conversations.
There is also walk-ins too. Having a reservation facility to add guests to a waitlist at busy times to then message when there’s availability, means capturing a sale that would have normally been lost along with the contacts to keep in touch.
But data capture doesn’t stop there. Whether it’s order at the table, waiter service, drive thru or delivering, giving customers the choice to place their own order on arrival or pay for their meal when it’s time to go, allows them to manage the pace of visit and the business the chance to keep building its data. It’s a chance to learn the customers’ favourite dishes, their preferred drink, their dietary requirements, whether they have kids etc. It’s a chance for the front- and back-of-house team to consistently and accurately be informed on what the guest wants, to give a great service. All valuable data to keep refining the way you talk to your customers in a more personalised and relevant way.
It’s a cyclical process – the more data you capture on customers, the more targeted and relevant you can be in your marketing to attract and retain them further, and then the more data you can continue to gather on them upon each visit.
But there’s little time for analysis for a busy independent business owner, so it is crucially about the ease of view and value of this information at the time required to then translate back to the customer. That’s the clever bit about the technology.
The technology will flag up each customer’s requirements, capture the relevant detail to then continue the conversation. A vegan customer does not want to hear about the new meat offering on the menu. They want to know when it’s a vegan day at the restaurant or sending parents the half-term kids’ offer via a newsletter. Imagine a booking is received, you note from the intelligence that they enjoy that glass of champagne to start, and when they arrive, be ready to offer this. Now independent hospitality businesses have reliable and accurate technology to do this.
Finally, customer experience technology is also about choice for a business and flexibility to keep pace with growth. Whether using this technology for customer online ordering, reservation bookings and data intelligence, these systems work on their own, performing their individual task for your business – or can be deployed together to offer a powerful combination where the booking journey leads seamlessly into ordering, and the data captured is used in communicating to the guest to ensure they visit again. The cost has dramatically decreased too over time and flat-rate packages are available to suit business needs.
So, get set to improve the quality, consistency, efficiency and profitability of your customers’ reservation and ordering experiences and start talking to them in more relevant ways. The right technology can transform your operation, improve customer satisfaction, and lay a foundation to grow your business.
Adactus offers a range of configured and branded customer experience products in Ordering, Reservations, and data Intelligence. The hospitality technology specialists have been transforming some of the biggest names in the industry for more than 20-years.