Frictionless is the future

QR Code
By Glenn Tait, Strategic Product Manager, Zonal

‘Frictionless’ is a buzzword used by many in the tech industry to mean a quick and easy/stress-free customer experience.

The word ‘friction’ then, is the opposite to this, where obstacles can occur at various touchpoints throughout the customer journey. From finding a venue and booking to ordering and paying, potential obstacles exist to detract from the customer experience. Understanding these potential points of friction and removing them is as good for your business as it is for your customers.

Top 10 customer frustrations and points of friction

Source: Plan to Plate Research Report, May 2021, KAM Media/Zonal

  1. Being forced to queue outside a venue (i.e. no bookings)
  2. Being told a certain dish has run out when you order it
  3. Under-attentive waiting staff
  4. Being forced to order food and pay via an app
  5. Trying to get a waiting staffs’ attention when waiting to pay
  6. Being told about the specials rather than having them written down
  7. Trying to get a waiting staff’s attention when wanting to order
  8. Waiting to be seated at a table
  9. Being forced to have a to book a table (i.e. no walk-ins)
  10. Not knowing how much you’ve spent until you see the final bill

Results from Zonal’s GO Technology research programme, and more recently Plan to Plate in partnership with KAM Media, repeatedly cite not being able to attract the attention of the server to order or pay the bill among consumers’ top frustrations. Customers actively want to pay quicker. And quicker payment means quicker table turns, which means extra capacity and ultimately extra revenue.

Removing friction, it would seem, is a win-win!

Revival of the QR Code

Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, QR codes have experienced a come-back as a simple solution that can achieve everything from checking in for Track and Trace to viewing digital menus. The development in smart phone camera technology that enabled QR code recognition and redirection to website pages has meant that QR codes are now a simple solution to many of the points of friction in the hospitality customer journey.

40% of customers prefer to use guest checkout rather than creating a user account, Zonal May 2021

Whilst a primary benefit of using QR codes in-venue may be to enable quicker payment of the bill, they also allow fewer steps and fewer button clicks to order, plus improved accuracy of ordering. All the customer needs to do is scan a code, taking them directly through the ordering process at the correct venue, at the correct table – they just need to choose their food and pay.

7 reasons why QR codes remove friction in the customer journey:

  1. You can direct your guests to a specific menu, ordering website or even table number so that the number of steps required before ordering is reduced.
  2. An in-venue QR code is specific to your site and location. Customers don’t need to find your site from a map view or list on a mobile app.
  3. QR codes on menus can be specific to that particular menu but can also be used to ask the guest to choose a table number.
  4. Outside, pop-up tables without specific table numbers can also benefit from QR codes. By providing each table with its own unique QR code, you can allow customers to locate a menu and order to that specific location with fewer steps as possible.
  5. QR codes printed on menus direct a user to the digital ordering version of that menu – this can be site-specific so that the guest has less steps in the ordering process.
  6. QR codes on the windows of venues can navigate the user to a click and collect menu as well as advertising this method of ordering.
  7. Codes on tables lead the customer to their specific bill for their table – all with one scan of a QR code, cutting the number of clicks to pay the bill by five and reducing the time it takes the guest to wait to pay. This can also work well with blended operations where the server takes the orders, and the guests use the QR code through which to pay.

Zonal has long recognised that enabling hospitality businesses to provide easier and quicker ways for guests to order and pay will not only increase guest satisfaction but will make ordering more efficient, increase revenues and cut down waste.

Discover how Zonal’s connected technology solutions can help you understand and enhance your customer journey.

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