Are your customers annoyed by your late services?
Are they continuously yelling WTF ('Where's The Food'?).
And before they get mad at you, better serve their 'Latte' at the earliest or else they'll start to 'Espresso' their feelings!
Well, if this is how your restaurants' current situation is, then we are sorry to say that, it is on the verge of self-destruction.
And being a restaurant owner, you don't want your business to end-up like this, right?
Well, the thing is, every restaurant owner wants their customers to have a delightful experience, and visit them again and again in the future.
As a result, they might be using multiple approaches to strengthen their customer service department.
But whatever may be the approach, the customers must feel happy and satisfied in the end.
And this should be the primary goal of your customer service department.
But despite taking a strategic approach, if you are still failing to keep your customers delighted, then you should better start working on a customer journey map or CJM.
A customer journey map drops you into the shoes of your customers and makes you understand how and when they interact with various touchpoints of your restaurant.
Remember that a customer's objective is ordering and your's is delivering.
So it's important to map this order and delivery system to get the best possible results.
And before we dive deep into the process of creating customer journey maps, let's have a better understanding of the underlying concepts.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
Today's consumers interact with brands in many different ways that are tricky to spot and pinpoint.
As a result, approaching your problems with a consumer's viewpoint helps you to understand and solve them in a better way.
To manage and deliver a best-in-class customer experience, one should analyze every touchpoint with the mindset of a prospective customer.
Moreover, to gain this level of understanding, your team should be able to create a mental picture of their entire journey.
And this is where a customer journey map comes into the picture.
A 'Customer Journey Map' can be defined as a visual or graphical representation of the entire process that a customer or prospect goes through while doing business with your organization.
And when it comes to restaurants, a customer journey map can be explained as a visual interpretation of your customer's journey right from exploring your restaurant to the very end of moving out of your restaurant.
Why manage customer experiences through customer journeys?
When prospective customers come to know about your restaurant, they start forming expectations based on your marketing campaigns and recommendations from your old customers.
And when they actually step into your restaurant, each interaction they have with you will have an additive effect on their entire experience.
Hence, a well-defined customer journey map shows your customer's motivation while revealing their obligations and pain points occurring at various stages of their journey.
Knowing these factors helps you to restructure various touchpoints, and create the most effective and efficient customer experience for your customers.
It also enables you to see if your customers are successfully interacting with all of your touchpoints or not.
As a result, you can undertake effective strategies to rectify individual problems at each of the touchpoints.
It is also important to note that a customer's journey need not always be in a linear fashion.
Consumers often take a multi-channel journey like going back and forth or might reach a final touchpoint after taking a cyclical journey.
Hence, business leaders often need to use creative and data-driven strategies to craft a robust and efficient customer journey map.
What are the advantages of a Customer Journey Map?
Breaking down a customer's journey into smaller segments, restructuring various touchpoints, and finally assigning a definitive goal to each of them, allows you to maximize your performance in the long run.
Some of the advantages of a customer journey map are:
- Ability to understand where and how the customers interact with your business entity.
- Identification of service gaps and other unseen flaws.
- Thorough understanding of the overall business process through a customer's viewpoint.
- Ability to refocus on your marketing strategies with an inbound perspective.
- Capability and means to target a new customer base.
- Ability to prioritize your workflow and create a customer-focused mentality amongst your employees.
How To Create A Customer Journey Map For A Restaurant?
Although there are no standard rules to create customer journey maps, we will try to develop a generalized map for your reference.
A well-defined customer journey map can be shared with your entire team. Hence, it becomes easy for your entire team to get started.
The process of creating a customer journey map requires collaborative and iterative efforts with data inputs from customers and cross-departmental employees.
Based on this rationale, we have come up with the following steps to help you design an effective and efficient customer journey map:
- Set clear goals for the map and describe your personas
- Set customer journey phases
- Define customer goals for each phase
- List and define all the touchpoints
- Add processes and channels to the map
- Identify problems and their solutions
- Reconstruct and evolve
Step 1: Set clear goals for the map and describe your personas
Before you start creating your restaurant's customer journey map, ask yourself these questions:
- What are the end goals of your customer journey map? What do you want to achieve with this?
- Which data sets or insights are you considering for the map?
- Which pool of customers are you targeting?
After setting these goals, the next step is to create a buyer persona, which is nothing but a fictitious customer representing a pool of frequent customers.
Personas can be built based on market research and real data about your existing customers
Step 2: Set the customer journey phases
The number of customer journey phases may vary from business to business. But let's take an example of a typical restaurant.
A customer's journey at a restaurant can be divided into the following stages:
- Become aware of your restaurant
- Arrive at your restaurant
- Order food
- Wait for the order
- Have food
- Leave the restaurant
- Drop feedback
Dividing a customer's journey into various phases allows you to analyze your customer' pain points in a much better way.
Step 3: Define customer goals for each phase
After segregating your customer's path into various stages, it's now time to set goals for each of the phases, but from a customer's viewpoint.
This step helps you to:
- Understand how business goals align with the customers' goals.
- Create benchmarks for customer satisfaction.
The table below explains the probable goals of a customer during each phase of the journey:
Customer Journey Phases
Get to know some new restaurant to have food
Find out what people say about your restaurant
Quickly locate the restaurant. Find parking space.
Discover the menu; try to find new cuisines and specialties.
Wait for the food to arrive. Enjoy the ambience. Not get bored
Find out if the food was worth the money. Enjoy Food.
Pay using cashless payments. Find the car quickly.
Share impression with friends and family.
Decide whether to visit once again or look for some other restaurant.
Step 4: List and define all the touchpoints
Touchpoints are the point of contacts between your restaurant and the customers.
Based on your research, you should prepare a list of all the touchpoints your customers and prospects are currently interacting with.
In the case of a restaurant, the possible touchpoints could be:
- In the awareness stage, your customer might discover your restaurant from a signboard, the internet, friends, or through ads.
- During the research phase, a prospective customer might check your website and read online reviews about your place. They might even ask their friends and family members.
- Upon arriving, they will have to identify your place by searching the facade and signboards. Then they need to find a parking space and interact with front door staff.
- When ordering the food, they will interact with a waiter and view the menu.
- While waiting, they will check your ambience and other facilities like washrooms, children's play area, etc.
- Next while eating, the touchpoints will be the waiter, your food, cutlery, tray, etc.
- While leaving, your customers might interact with the cashier to find about cashless payments.
- When leaving feedback, they might visit your website directly or drop a few lines right on Twitter or Facebook.
- During the last stage, your customers might interact with a promotion mail from your side.
Discovering all the touchpoints is essential because each one of them leaves an impression on your customers.
Step 5: Add processes and channels to the map
Now you may want to investigate all the possible processes and channels through which your customers interact with your restaurant.
Some of the examples include:
- Signboards that are showing directions to your restaurant.
- Website of your restaurant.
- Facebook and other social media pages.
- Your restaurants' facade and many other channels.
Step 6: Identify problems and their solutions
After analyzing all the touchpoints, processes, and channels, it's now time to identify problems and roadblocks associated with them.
For example, you may not have correct information about your restaurant on the internet, or you may be lacking online reviews.
Upon arrival, your customers might be struggling to find your place due to lack of signboards.
When ordering the food, your customers may feel those menu descriptions to be ambiguous.
In this way, you can list out all the possible problems and try to come up with the best possible solutions.
Step 7: Reconstruct and evolve
Now that you have listed out all of your problems and their best possible solutions, it's time to rebuild the map and make the necessary changes.
No matter how big or small the changes are, they will be useful in solving your customers' pain points.
However, this process does not end here because the customer journey map is a constant work-in-progress task.
Regularly evaluating it on a monthly or quarterly basis helps you to find gaps in your service and other new opportunities for improving a customer's experience at your restaurant.
As said by Bill Gates, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
Hence, mapping a customer's journey helps you to find the source of unhappiness and the best possible solution for each step of your customer's journey.
This way you can step up your CX strategy and leave a lasting impression on your customers.
Finally, remember that hunger is nothing; customer experience is everything!