Unlock Customer Loyalty with Digital CX: Three Ways Restaurants Can Take Action | modern restaurant management

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry, making the past fifteen months a never-ending battle. Amid the chaos of mandatory closures and wavering safety regulations, only the most adaptable have been able to stay afloat. In fact, almost one in six restaurants closed down somewhat last year. Restaurants that have struggled to hang on have faced a plethora of challenges. Following new health guidelines while remaining cost effective meant thinking beyond plexiglass dividers and social distancing signage.

From delivering meal kits to ghost kitchens and more, restaurateurs have put their creative hats on during this time. But with restrictions easing and people leaving their homes for the first time in over a year, creativity won’t be the only thing keeping diners happy. Service industries have been forced to change how and where they communicate with their customers, making digital customer experience (CX) an essential part of the restaurant business model in the future.

Building the Foundations for Success During a Pivotal Time

the CDCUpdated guidance for fully vaccinated people means change is upon us. People come out of their bubbles and restaurants have a limited chance to make a strong “first” impression. If restaurants don’t provide a seamless customer experience from the start, one in three customers can walk away after just one bad interaction.

From bad ordering experiences to flooded phone lines, poor communication during this transition period threatens to be a deal breaker for restaurateurs. Additionally, with the unpredictable complications that labor shortages and supply chain disruptions have recently caused, it is important for restaurants to focus on the areas of customer experience where they have the most control. more control.

As restaurants prepare for an increase in demand, digital CX is essential to ensure a seamless experience for diners. However, many companies are unaware that there is still work to be done. Companies underestimate how often customers have bad experiences 38% on average. To help restaurants build loyalty and lay the foundation for success, I recommend focusing on the following digital CX improvements during this crucial time:

1. Use digital resources to streamline communication with customers

Given that 46.5% of the population is now vaccinated, restaurants must be prepared to handle a rush of reservations while simultaneously maintaining takeout operations. Leveraging digital channels like websites, social media, text and email to manage reservations, manage take-out orders and communicate pick-up instructions to eager diners is essential to thriving in a post-covid world .

As restaurants prepare for an increase in demand, digital CX is essential to ensure a seamless experience for diners.

Whether restaurants are communicating safety procedures to diners or providing information on where and when to pick up food, streamlined communication also goes hand-in-hand with a simplified customer experience. In order to maintain clarity with customers, messaging across all digital channels must be uniform and consistent from end to end.

2. Optimize the CNC experience

Despite a predicted return to normal, digital ordering will remain an essential part of the “new normal” of the dining experience. For in-store customers and customers who use take-out options, controlling when meals are ordered is an attractive option. Not to mention that it eliminates half the work of the restaurant staff. With digital control also comes the infamous “curbside pickup”: a foreign term to many before 2020. With the convenience and efficiency it brings to the table, curbside pickup isn’t going anywhere. . That said, brands need to leverage digital to make this service the effortless process it was created for.

For curbside implementation, brands that dedicate customer service resources to resolving issues and answering questions will thrive. Restaurants should keep the digital communication line asynchronous, making it clear how, where and when customers can pick up their food. Building a solid infrastructure to answer questions, resolve issues, and provide customer support will not only drive brand loyalty, but allow restaurants to collect key customer data.

Going forward, digital ordering will also continue to play a role in in-person dining. For sit-down dinners, having the power to order food and drinks without the extra step of waiting for a server is ideal. However, a faulty system means longer wait times, lost communication and disappointed diners. Ensure staff efficiency and customer loyalty by investing in the right solutions for your catering business.

3. Prioritize QR codes

Post-lockdown, QR codes have proven to be a fundamental resource for take-out and table service. Not only does this technology make restaurants safer, but it promotes productivity and speeds up the ordering process for all parties involved. For example, customers can scan QR codes and place orders via their smartphones when they dine in or to alert the restaurant when they have arrived to pick up their takeout. They can also facilitate contactless payment, manage an online waiting list, solicit customer feedback, and more.minimizing the time restaurant staff spend with diners.

Investing in digital services that leverage QR codes can take your customer service to the next level. Serve and attract more customers by using QR codes to direct potential customers to a chatbot to answer their questions or share promotions in a timely manner. At the intersection of automation and digital customer experience, the opportunities for your brand are endless.

Secure much-needed brand loyalty with Digital CX

As the restaurant industry recovers from coronavirus, customer retention is key. Consumers are hungry to leave their homes, and providing exceptional service has never been more important. Without a seamless digital customer experience before, during and after the meal, restaurants risk losing valuable customers in the long run.

Now is the time for the restaurant industry to invest in digital customer experience. With the right systems, brands can both foster and maintain positive relationships with their customers. By using digital customer experience to streamline communication, improve online ordering, and improve user experience, your business can pave the way to rebuilding the restaurant industry.

Joseph P. Harris