If you want to earn a place in your customers’ hearts, first earn a place in their phones.
Restaurant customer loyalty is, like every other business, built on the ability to understand, meet, and exceed customers’ evolving needs and expectations.
And during this time of social distancing and continued COVID-19 uncertainty, diners’ needs and expectations have certainly made one of their most drastic changes yet. Diners are no doubt still attracted to your restaurant for the usual reasons—quality food, a break from cooking, an enjoyable experience—but many now expect you to deliver on these aspects in a socially responsible and safe manner.
That’s where the phones come in. Contactless dining can inspire customer loyalty when you make it convenient for your patrons to access your exceptional food in a safe way.
Contactless Dining Tips That Work
To go contactless, you have to remove as many shared surfaces and objects in service as possible and limit personal interaction to the barest of necessities.
The best way to do this is to turn to the internet. As there are currently more than 275 million smartphones of one variety or another in use in the U.S., the obvious way to access the internet is by mobile.
By leaning on the pocket-sized technology we’re all carrying with us right now, you can mimic your in-person dining experience within a digital format, thereby continuing, building, and strengthening your customer relationships.
Following the contactless dining tips below will help you deepen those connections that can become the foundation of future growth:
1. Replace menus with QR codes
2. Display digital links everywhere
3. Brand your menu
4. Simplify your offerings
5. Provide suggestions and virtual help
6. Match your on-site and online menus
7. Protect payments with security and encryption
8. Offer digital receipts
9. Invest in data analysis
10. Offer loyalty memberships at every turn
Companies that can inspire customer loyalty by understanding, meeting, and exceeding customer expectations and needs grow at a rate 2.5 times faster than those that don’t.
These contactless dining tips can help you survive the current COVID-19 uncertainty and thrive once the pandemic passes.
10 Contactless Dining Strategies That Foster Customer Loyalty
You can convert much of your in-person services to contactless dining by upgrading to a digital point of sale system. A combination of mobile hardware and cloud-based software, a digital POS solution links every order and invoice with management and inventory programs to make processes more efficient.
These are the top ten tips for boosting your contactless dining strategy.
1. Replace Menus With QR Codes
QR codes are instant links to any online location and information, which diners access using their phones. A single click of the phone’s camera turns a mobile device into a remote control for your restaurant, summoning a digital menu that’s as easy to navigate as a web page.
2. Display Digital Links Everywhere
QR codes and menu links need to be displayed everywhere your customers make contact—on walls, tabletops, webpages, and email or text correspondences. Provide a link to a free QR code reader nearby just in case your customers’ phones won’t make the link automatically.
3. Brand Your Menu
Your menu will replace the smiling face and sunny conversation of your waiting staff, so make sure the landing pages are filled with your brand, logo, and personality. Winning loyalty can be as much about impression as function.
4. Simplify Your Offerings
While you’ll want to retain any signature dishes that define your kitchen, it pays to simplify the remaining menu under COVID restrictions. It makes it easier for customers to order a full meal without staff assistance, and reduces your kitchen spend at a time when revenue is likely to be down.
5. Provide Suggestions and Virtual Help
Your digital menu needs to act as a virtual member of staff. You can provide online help by triggering suggestions when certain menu items are selected or offer a series of set meal suggestions that can be manipulated to taste.
6. Match Your On-Site and Online Menus
Contactless dining looks a lot like online ordering. You can make things easier for your kitchen, and therefore boost delivery speeds and accuracy, by matching all customer-facing menus.
7. Protect Payments With Security and Encryption
All the leading POS providers will include discrete, mobile payment readers and card terminals with their solution. Be sure to check payments are protected by the latest authentication and end-to-end encryption so there are no mishaps that could cost you customer trust.
8. Offer Digital Receipts
If you’re taking orders and payments online, it makes sense to keep things socially distant and offer email and text receipts. Widely available as a POS feature, digital receipts are both a permanent record of sale and a final chance to place a message with clickable links right in your customers’ phones. Once you are in their phones, you’re a convenient tap away from being shared with their friends and rebooked for another meal.
9. Invest in Data Analysis
If you run your contactless dining through a digital POS solution, you’ll wind up with a wealth of customer information you can use to encourage loyalty. The leading POS system now includes data analysis as standard so you can quickly collect important data, statistics, and demographics. This information can be vital in building more efficient menus and creating a more enticing contactless experience.
10. Offer Loyalty Memberships at Every Turn
The most direct way to encourage customer loyalty is to offer incentives to return. The contactless experience gives you many chances to advertise your rewards programs across your website, on downloadable menus, and alongside digital receipts. Make membership benefits clear and personalized so the customer doesn’t disregard your offer as spam.
Contactless Dining Can Inspire and Comfort
Contactless dining has proven to be a valued comfort for many during the ongoing social distancing conditions.
Its success is proof that if you follow the right advice and get creative about reaching diners, you can forge a special relationship that has lasting, foundational benefits. Be remembered as the warm comfort during an uncertain time.
In a period of change, talech has a number of POS solutions that can help your business adjust operations smoothly. From reaching new audiences to engaging with your existing customers more often, we give you the tools to adapt quickly and with confidence.
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