Irrespective of what scale you start a business on, you ultimately want to see it grow further ahead. That growth becomes a possibility when your restaurant brand creates a better customer experience, and thus, better customer loyalty.
After all, it is the customer’s journey with your brand and its products and services, which determines whether your customers will come back or not.
How do we ensure your customer keeps coming back? Well, to break it down, the answer lies in making every customer touchpoint as personal as possible.
What is personalization?
The art of making your service as relatable and personal as possible. Personalisation has ventured out from the foray of personalised phone covers and customised mugs, but in fact, it is now present in every product around you!
Personalisation is an effective marketing strategy today, leveraging which even the most exclusive of brands are trying to aim for a massive consumer base.
Luxury products have dropped their long-preserved labels of “exclusivity” and have hopped on the wagon of “personalisation” to aim at larger demographics.
It all comes down to selling an emotion, a message, or a story.
These days, customers have infinite options and just a well-performing product isn’t enough to convert leads into sales!
The whole customer journey with the brands needs to be supportive and nurturing at every customer touchpoint. It all comes down to the overall customer experience or CX.
Personalization in the Restaurant Industry
In the restaurant business as well, crafting a pleasant customer experience for one and all is the key to customer retention.
It is the old customers, who keep coming back to a business, who contribute heavily to that respective business’ growth.
For any business, catering to new customers and satisfying them is more time, effort and capital consuming task than that of retaining the older customers.
Thus, customer loyalty is integral to your business growth.
However, this being said, new customers open an ambitious avenue for a business to become an empire and personalising your services as per the likes of your new customers could convert them into revisiting customers.
Here’s how personalization can help your restaurant become a hit
1. Personalizing your menu
Be it fast food outlets such as Subway or McDonalds or a small scale bakery selling customised cakes, the USP lies in working as per the customer’s orders.
Adapt towards a more flexible menu, wherein the customers get to choose their own dish. Better yet, if they can design their meal!
While we understand that your restaurant may have its own specialities and styles, people prefer a nice place with a touch of flexibility.
Never forget, your restaurant may carve a niche out for itself due to the exotic dishes, but it only works if the dishes work with your customers.
To make sure the taste of your restaurant is a sweet lingering one, accommodate and facilitate your consumers to run their own orders, wherever needed.
2. Personalizing the Venue
Once you are done with the menu, look at the venue! Dining out is no more about just the food. It is everything else that adds on to the “ambience”.
Involve your customers into your business by introducing little quirks of a karaoke night or more-inclusive gigs like an open mic.
Invite your customers to leave their remarks on a designated graffiti wall. Bring in the best local band in the area, and immerse your restaurant into the local culture.
You could design the place around the city or town’s cultural identity. There’s a lot of room for creativity here: What appeals to your area should be inculcated in your restaurant!
3. Personalising Promotions
This is where you can target a new audience, who isn’t yet acquainted with your business. Here too, you may involve your existing clientele in speeding up the process.
Organise social media contests. The millennial generation is always looking for photo-ops, and you could provide discounts or rewards for every time they check-in to the restaurant on social media, or honour it in their hashtags.
Furthermore, you could offer discounts for birthday celebrations. To your customers, it would be a nice gesture, and for you, a hidden business enhancer, considering that birthday celebration means a bigger group of new people!
4. Efficient Customer Service
At almost every restaurant, we are bound to find at least one waiter who raps the whole menu away in a single breath. Nowadays, people prefer a more personal side to the presenters.
They should be educated about the restaurant’s theme, decorum, cuisine and whatever a customer may need help with once they are in the restaurant.
A smile and polite language go a long way in any business, especially when the business thrives on customer service. The restaurant business is one such business, and your staff needs to be on the front line being as pleasant as your food!
5. Generate insights from feedbacks
This is the most crucial part of personalisation: to check at regular intervals if your idea of ‘personalization’ is actually striking a personal note with your consumers.
Strike the topic in personal conversations; however, rely on a more recorded way of storing their responses. If only you had a customer experience notebook. Luckily, you do!
A Customer Experience Management (CEM) tool is all you need to get. It would map out your customers’ likes, dislikes, and recommendations; and will thus give you insights that you may need to incorporate for a higher CX.
To create an ever-lasting pleasant memory for your customers, shift the emphasis towards better customer experience.
This can be done by mapping the CX using Customer Experience Management tools, and using those insights to make your restaurant feel more personal to its base.