Today’s restaurant goer expects a high level of customer service after spending more time at home thanks to Covid-19 lockdowns and restaurant closures.
But, in order to stand out from the crowd and win over potential customers, your restaurant now needs to have great food and deliver exceptional customer service. For many restaurant owners and operators this means thinking beyond on-site service and considering how to improve the digital experience of your restaurant guest.
“Every town has different restrictions–from limited options like parking lot cabanas for outdoor-only dining to full, open indoor dining–and many people have varying degrees of comfort dining out. They want to know what to expect before they arrive. That means the digital experience is of the utmost importance as more consumers are accustomed to researching online, reading reviews and turning to social media for what’s new and hot in their area,” explains Modern Restaurant Management.
If you’re a restaurant owner and operator dedicated to giving your guests the best possible service, it’s time to think about improving your customer’s digital experience.
Improve your restaurant customer’s digital experience by:
- Updating your website
- Serve up customer appreciation on social
Improve your website
To start, in order to provide your restaurant customer’s digital experience, it’s imperative to have a well-maintained and up-to-date website. In fact, 77% of adults say they check a restaurant’s website before visiting, according to Restaurant Dive.
To start your customer’s digital experience with your restaurant on a high note, it’s critical your website includes key information like location, contact, and an easy-to-read menu.
Your restaurant’s website should feature:
- Phone number
- Any information regarding Covid-19 protocols like mask rules, social distancing measures, and cleaning/sanitization practices
- Mouthwatering food photos
- Takeout and delivery options
- An easy and obvious way to “Order Online Now”
- Links to your social feeds
By investing in your restaurant’s website, you give potential customers the chance to peruse your menu, check prices, and easily place takeout and delivery orders.
If you need to quickly create a customized website, Dash can help. Learn more here.
Serve up customer appreciation on social
Second, in order to improve your restaurant customer’s digital experience, it’s time to revamp your social media feeds to focus more on customer appreciation.
Customers use restaurant social media feeds to see what looks good, check which items are most popular, and to order takeout and delivery.
But even more importantly? Many restaurant goers today use social media to assess other customer’s satisfaction of their experience at your restaurant. In fact, 68% of restaurant guests in the U.S. visited a new-to-them restaurant based entirely on positive reviews on social media, according to a survey by Restaurant Insights.
To make the most of your social media feeds, and to entice more customers to order from your restaurant, it’s time to highlight your appreciation for your customers on social.
Show your customer appreciation on social media by:
- Reposting positive reviews
- Sharing great customer food photos
- Sharing pictures taken of friends and family at your restaurant
On the flip side, if a customer leaves a negative review or angry complaint about your restaurant on social media, seize the opportunity to respond to their feedback in a way that showcases your devotion to superior customer service.
First, respond to the negative comment or post with a heartfelt apology for the less than satisfactory experience. Then, offer the disgruntled customer something in exchange, like 10% off their next check. You can be sure future customers and social media scrollers will appreciate the dedication to customer service.
For more help on responding to a negative online review of your restaurant, check out this blog post.
Personalize the experience
Finally, one more tactic to improve your restaurant customer’s digital experience is to focus on personalizing the experience, through the help of digital tools.
Platforms like Dash can help capture and track a customer’s personal information, like a birthday or anniversary, through the creation of detailed customer profiles. This data then allows savvy restaurant owners and operators to offer specials, deals, or even celebratory messages to customers on their special days.
Additionally, another way to personalize your restaurant customer’s experience is through digital loyalty programs.
“One strategy specifically devoted to the surprise and delight stage of the customer journey, at which repeat business often is won, is customer loyalty programs. More than half of restaurant patrons said loyalty programs are a major factor in a restaurant’s long-term success,” explains PYMNTS.com.
By enrolling guests into loyalty programs, restaurant owners and operators can offer highly customized deals, offers, and promos like:
- Free delivery after accrual of rewards
- Discounts on favorite menu items after point accumulation
- A free drink, side, or dessert menu items, tailored to the customer’s most frequently placed orders
Bottom line? By personalizing your restaurant customer’s digital experience, you can build customer trust, loyalty, and goodwill.