While new customer acquisition is essential for the growth of your business, focussing on getting existing customers back to your restaurant is perhaps way more important. Why? Acquiring new customers takes up a lot of time and resources. It can be a tedious process. However, retaining customers is a much more cost-effective option. You simply have to work on engaging with them often and providing them good customer service. Moreover, it is easier to sell to customers that you have already provided services to rather than attracting new customers altogether. And once you get the customers to make multiple visits to your restaurant, they in turn become your loyal customers and brand advocates.
Effective customer retention helps in forming long-term relationships with customers. Instead of looking at your restaurant like just any other business, they’ll look at it as something that gives them great value for their money. Another perk is that these loyal customers can also spread the word about your restaurant in their networks. This is a great promotion technique that costs you practically nothing!
5 Must Try Tips for Effective Customer Retention at your Restaurant
In this article, we have 5 tips that you can use for customer retention.
1. Make an SMS and Email (CRM) calendar
SMS and Email are great channels to engage your customers. Using SMS and Email to build customer relationships can be extremely helpful. All the data that you’ve stored about your customers can be used. For instance, you can send out a happy birthday SMS or Email to your customers. Send Diwali or Christmas greetings along with tempting offers and deals too. All of this helps in giving your business a personal touch. You could also send out an email if you’ve introduced new menu items or combos that you want to promote. Make your emails and SMS messages funny, crisp and engaging.
Struggling to implement a successful SMS and Email strategy? Here are a few ways in which you can pump up your customer engagement.
2. Build a Well-Tiered Loyalty Program Plan
Loyalty programs have been used for a long time in customer retention. The data you’ve collected about your customers can be used to send tailored SMS messages and emails to your customers. For instance, you could provide them a discount coupon on their birthday. Or you could keep granting loyalty points every time they order at your restaurant. Maybe you could offer a certain discount for every 10th order they make. The possibilities are endless. Offers like these get a customer more involved and encourage them to order from you again and again. However, don’t go over the top. If you send too many emails or SMS messages, it is likely that a customer will get annoyed and might even block you.
Here are 15 loyalty program ideas to help you set-up a robust loyalty management system towards retaining customers.
3. Engage on Social Media
Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all of your social media handles to keep in touch with customers. You can post vibrant photos of your best dishes. You can also post clips of certain foods being made in the kitchen. Hosting giveaways on Instagram is a great way to engage with your customers too. Try to reply to people’s comments as much as you can. On the day of a certain event or festival, post content that is related to it. You could also analyse what time of the day you get most views and likes at. This way, you can schedule future posts and stories for that specific time.
4. Collect and Manage Feedback
Customer feedback can help you a lot in terms of improving your services. Every time a customer orders food from you, request them to fill out a survey. You can cover various aspects through surveys- portion size, quality of food, presentation etc. You can also leave a box where they can add their comments about what they liked or disliked. This information can then be used by you to improve your performance. In case a customer didn’t like something about the food, you can apologise for the problem too. You need to make your customers feel heard.
5. Offer Great Customer Service
Remarkable customer service is the way to a customer’s heart. Providing amazing food while keeping your rates affordable is the perfect manner in which you can keep customers happy. You need to ensure that you provide quality service, whether it’s at your restaurant or even through food delivery. Make sure that portion sizes are adequate for your customers. When customers order food from you, don’t keep them waiting too long. This will leave them frustrated and they will probably have apprehensions about ordering from you again. If in case a delay does take place, make sure to call the customer and apologize for the inconvenience caused. You could also have a live chat option on your app and website. This makes it way more accessible for a customer to reach you immediately, which is always a plus point towards retaining customers.
In conclusion, retaining customers is an extremely important part of running a successful business. While it is important to acquire new customers too, retaining your current customers is an easy, cost-effective option. The most important factor is to listen to your customers’ feedback and foster relationships with them that last. With their help, you can increase your profits by leaps and bounds.