Customer experience is one of those widely discussed, but seldom understood, concepts of both service and marketing. It is not a passive evaluation of the customers’ experiences, but the intentional design of what your customers will experience when they complete a transaction with you.
In practice, customer experience entails mapping out every step of the way from the greeting until a customer walks out the door. Customer experience is critical to your success both in your establishment and via your online ordering website or mobile app.
The greatest opportunity for the growth of the customer experience at your restaurant is through your online ordering system. The manner in which customers can place orders online offers you the greatest control when it comes to customer experience. So, improving your customer experience starts there. If you want to know how to start improving your customer experience, here are five ways you can do so through your online ordering system.
1. Reach Out to Your Customers
Your website, social media accounts and mobile app all offer a multitude of ways you can effectively make every customer feel a unique sense of belonging. Use the customers’ first names in follow-up emails and order confirmations, and greet them by first name when they log on to your website or into the mobile app on their smartphones. Always send thank you messages for orders, even if it’s a simple text, social media DM, or brief email message. Make use of any and every method of communication to build strong relationships with your customers and forge connections that will keep your restaurant thriving for years.
2. Actively Seek Out and Welcome Feedback
Ask your customers for feedback on new dishes. You can even make them an active part of any changes you make to your menu. Make your customers’ feedback part of a new menu experience by creating opportunities for them to share their thoughts about dishes you ask them to try.
Create a feedback card specifically for dishes you ask them to try and then give an incentive such as a coupon or discount to thank them for their contribution. The same feedback and incentive should be available for orders of potential new menu items when placed online or via your mobile app. Ask specific questions about which flavors they liked best, what did not work for them and what you could do better to improve the experience. Use this feedback to plan future menu items and to create dishes your customers want. It will also help you provide the best possible customer experience.
3. Make Transparency Integral to Your Customer Experience
Sometimes customers want something you do not have available that day or at all. Offer them substitutions for these items. You can also suggest a comparable item instead. Communicate shortages or unavailability promptly in the most convenient way possible. If your deliveries are running behind, inform your customers right away. People are far less upset about delays when you communicate with them immediately. The best customer experience you can offer is predicated on complete transparency.
4. Give Customers Reasons to Order Online/Via Your Mobile App
Make your online ordering process easy and stress-free so people will take advantage of it repeatedly. Keep everything simple, intuitive and visually appealing so customers will choose your online ordering site/app over your competition’s. If your online ordering system makes your customers’ lives a bit easier, you will have created a truly excellent customer experience.
5. View Your Online Ordering Process From Your Customers’ Perspective
During the design and testing stages of your online ordering system, ask an objective third-party who is not overly familiar with the contents of your website, menu, and/or mobile app to test it out. This test of your system will let you know what works as well as what you need to change to make it better and more user-friendly. Listen attentively to the feedback you get and make the suggested changes. The best customer experiences are built around customer feedback, and building your online ordering system around that feedback is crucial to your success.
To make sure the customer experience at your restaurant is nothing short of superior, do an honest evaluation of it and make sure it ticks all the boxes. Ask yourself the crucial questions that will help you evaluate your own online ordering system and mobile app effectively.
If you need help getting your online ordering system in line so you can improve the customer experience at your restaurant, contact Orders2Me today. We are here to help you succeed.