Nearly half (47%) of people say that checking out customer reviews is a top priority when it comes to searching for a pub or restaurant to book, according to exclusive research by Zonal and KAM Media.
Yet, customer feedback has a more valuable role than just attracting people into your venue. It is also the key to knowing where your business needs to improve and pinpointing the opportunities for growth. Encouraging people to leave feedback is therefore vital.
“Technology can deliver insight in easy-to-digest reports in real time”
One way to achieve this, is to ensure it is simple and seamless, with Plan to Plate research showing that 1 in 3 customers would be more likely to leave a review if they could so on their smartphone at their own convenience.
Linking feedback to a loyalty scheme is likely to lead to even further success, with 31% of pub and restaurant customers saying they would be more likely to leave a review if they could collect loyalty points or rewards as a result.
Loyalty schemes are an often overlooked by hospitality operators – 64% of venues to do not have one in place – but they are a powerful way to gain insight into your guests and to improve the customer experience in your venue.
There is appetite for them. Plan to Plate research shows 86% of people would be interested in joining one if it were offered and 71% stated that it has some degree of influence over where they choose to eat and drink.
Discounts and money off are the big drivers to signing up, with 59% of people saying they want points they can convert to money off. Tailored rewards are particularly desirable, with 79% of people saying they would be willing to share personal information for this.
86% of people would be interested in joining a loyalty scheme
It is therefore worth looking at how to offer bespoke rewards to loyalty scheme members and linking your loyalty programme with, for example your Guest Feedback platform or EPoS system, will allow you to achieve this.
Not only that, integrating your scheme in this way will help you see how effective your campaigns are and track what rewards are being redeemed.
It also means points will be automatically awarded and removed at the till when they are accrued or redeemed – no need to waste valuable staff time in executing or managing the scheme.
Customer feedback is just one element of useful customer data, however. There is also information to be found in EPoS data, booking, table management and kitchen systems, as well as order and pay technology for example.
Information from all these sources will give you valuable insight into your customer journey. Everything from dwell times to best-selling menu items; to the time it takes from ordering a meal to it arriving; from year-on-year comparisons, to emerging trends and underperforming areas.
14% are very interested in voice search technology
This is important because it will give you the information you need to improve your business, create effective marketing campaigns to lure back existing customers and target new ones and, ultimately, boost your bottom line.
Data analysis at this level need not be daunting. Technology can deliver this insight in easy-to-digest reports in real-time, while integrating your existing tech (EPoS, Order & Pay, booking system etc) with a specialist company, such as Feed It Back or Yumpingo, can help you gain even deeper insight into your customers and business.
Savvy operators will also be looking to stay ahead of competitors by seeking out tech that is already here but which isn’t widely used in the industry.
Voice order and search, for example, is something customers are increasingly interested in. According to a recent GO Technology survey 14% are very interested in voice search and 13% are very interested in voice-ordering.
The same survey showed the same number (13%) are interested or very interested in Augmented Reality in terms of hospitality, up from 6% in 2018, while 1 in 3 of late nigh bar users say they are interested in virtual reality tours and experiences.
Consumers are quick to adopt new technologies and experiences when there are tangible benefits. Restaurant home delivery kits and restaurant takeaways for example, have proved a valuable new revenue stream for pubs and restaurants for consumers stuck at home during lockdown.
GO Technology research indicates that 47% of people have ordered restaurant delivery more often or as often over the last six months and there is plenty of research to suggest dine-at-home is a trend that’s here to stay.
47% of people have ordered restaurant delivery more often or as often over the last six months
So why not use your data collected through online bookings and loyalty programmes to bridge the gap between customer visits – encourage and incentivise them to stay engaged with your brand and continue to spend money with you on at-home experiences such as delivery or click & collect.
Technology can streamline your operations to ensure these new opportunities do not impact on existing standards in-venue. Integrating your click & collect platform with the tech systems you already have in place will give greater efficiencies. No need for orders to be taken from one system and inputted into another, for example, saving staff time and reducing room for error. And controlling the flow and number of orders from multiple sources such as delivery, click & collect and in-venue, in one central place, will prevent the kitchen from becoming overwhelmed. All this can be achieved with integrated technology.
With menu items being unavailable to order a major bugbear for customers both on-site and those at-home, integrated tech can help by using real-time stock levels to update online or in-app menus. With 30% of people say short wait time is a priority for delivery, integrating ordering, EPoS and kitchen management systems can also ensure the quickest possible delivery times.
Integrating technology at all stages of your customers’ journey gives you a better understanding of their habits and preferences. This can ultimately be fed back into the running of your business and marketing programmes, enabling you to offer more targeted promotions and rewards to attract consumers back again and again.
Because these days a customer journey begins long before they have even reached your door.
Continue connecting the customer journey…
Get in touch with Zonal today to discover how our connected technology solutions are helping hospitality businesses of all shapes and sizes to understand and enhance their customer journeys, make significant service improvements and exploit new revenue streams.Enquire now
Customer feedback: the value of listening
Customer feedback is vital to the success of your business. But the danger of not listening to or acting on feedback can be catastrophic. Discover more here.Read More
Beat the January blues with Click and Collect
Year-on-year online takeaways have seen a huge growth, see how Zonal's Click and Collect system could help grow your business without eroding profit marginsRead More
From Plan to Plate Insight Report
This insight report follows the customer journey - from initial decision and venue choice through to ordering, paying and finally leaving a review.Read More
GO Tech Consumer Research: Technology’s role in the customer journey
The latest GO Technology report reveals that having accepted the need for technology during the pandemic, two fifths of consumers say tech improves their hospitality experiences.Read More