Posts Tagged ‘customer satisfaction’

Customers Expect Online Ordering In Restaurants

December 11, 2013

While we can thank the pizza industry for helping online ordering to gain wide-spread popularity, today’s customer has come to expect online ordering options from all of their favorite restaurants. Considering that online orders have a lower labor cost and yet tend to have higher than average checks, it’s no surprise that so many restaurants are making the move toward putting solid online ordering platforms in place. 

Online Ordering Streamlines Your Customer’s Experience

The popularity of ordering from restaurants on a computer is typically driven by two primary factors: the desire for a speedy, streamlined experience and/or the desire to avoid human interaction and potentially frustrating experiences. Customers jump at the opportunity to avoid long lines and wait times, by far preferring the ability to just whisk in, grab the food, and head back to the comfort of their own abodes.

Ordering online also has the added benefit of ensuring that the order is placed exactly right – with all of the customer’s special instructions clearly printed for employees to see. Combine those factors with the increased transaction speed for placing an order and it’s no wonder customers are ordering from their favorite restaurants online in record numbers.

Having Access to Your Online Menu Caters To Your Restaurant’s Most Loyal Members

It’s a fact that your restaurant’s regular patrons often order the same thing every time they frequent your establishment – people are habitual creatures. A number of restaurants have taken this understanding and applied it to the design of their online ordering platforms. They do this by providing the option to create a user profile and save all your favorite orders for one-click future repeats.

Other restaurants reward their most loyal members through their online profiles as well, letting members accumulate points or other rewards as a thanks for their regular patronage. While this can be a nice touch, customers have been shown to want an online ordering option regardless of whether or not they are rewarded. The perks of speed and efficiency can be enough in and of themselves.

Research Supports the Desire for Technology-Based Self-Sufficiency in Restaurants

A study conducted by the National Restaurant Association in October found that 63 percent of adults had used some form of restaurant-related technology in September of this year alone. The study also found that more than two in five adults use smartphones or computers to locate restaurants, find directions, view menus, and place orders.

Furthermore, 50 percent of all adults and 75 percent of adults aged 18-34 said they would use a smartphone or other mobile device to place takeout and delivery orders if the option were available in their favorite restaurant.

When you combine the customer’s desire to have online ordering options for their favorite restaurants with the fact that all the customer metrics (in terms of satisfaction, retention, and frequency) tend to be better with digital orders, it only makes sense to put an online ordering platform in place if you haven’t already. If you do have one set up, make sure that it is designed to make speed, customization, and functionality paramount.

Building Restaurant Customer Loyalty by Learning to Really Listen

June 10, 2013

As a restaurateur, you already know how important it is to deliver an experience that your customers want if you hope to have them return to your establishment – let alone recommend your business to others. One of the simplest ways to ensure that you are meeting and exceeding their expectations is, quite simply, to ask for feedback. That said, just asking for general feedback isn’t enough – you’ve also got to ask the right questions, ask in the right way, and act on the information you get.

Ask Your Customers Questions that Really Matter

Learning to ask the right questions of your customers makes all the difference in the world when it comes to getting truly useful feedback about improving their customer experience. Many restaurants make the mistake of asking only questions that are designed to help them better understand their customers’ habits rather than questions that help them understand how they could improve their experience.

For example, while it may be useful to know how often your customers eat out or where they tend to go, it is more instructive to ask questions about how you could improve their experience with your establishment or what you could do to entice them to return more frequently.

Provide Multiple Avenues for Constructive Feedback

Not everyone is comfortable providing honest feedback on the spot. Therefore, it’s smart to provide multiple avenues for customers to tell you how they are feeling. Whether this comes in the form of feedback boxes on a customer’s check, social media pages where they can post their feelings, or simply hospitality ambassadors whose sole job is to make the rounds while people eat to make sure that everything is up to par, you want to provide multiple avenues for people to talk to you.

You want to encourage honesty and breed a constructive environment through which you can gain information. Rewarding your employees who get great feedback is a part of this process too – the more that people can see the tangible effects of their efforts, the more likely they are to continue their good work.

Close the Feedback Loop by Taking Action

Last but not least, you want to make sure that you actually take action on the feedback you have garnered. Going to the effort of collecting feedback from your customers but then not bothering to do anything with it can actually hurt your business more than if you didn’t ask for feedback at all! You want to encourage honest responses and demonstrate that you’re really listening by nurturing an attitude of ‘let’s fix it!’ This breeds a culture of respect and integrity that your customers will truly appreciate.  

Taking the time to gather genuine feedback from your customers has the dual effect of helping you create an establishment that truly exceeds peoples’ expectations while simultaneously building the loyalty of the customers who frequent your restaurant. There is always room for improvement and in today’s economic environment, it is more critical than ever to do everything within your power to ensure that your customers’ experience is as remarkable as it can be.