Strategies for Boosting Restaurant Customer Loyalty
OK, we get it. One of your biggest priorities is attracting new customers to your restaurant. And rightly so. But you might be losing out on a lot of business if you haven’t figured out effective ways to increase restaurant customer loyalty.
Here’s why: Acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere from five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. In contrast, increasing customer retention rates by 5% can up profits by more than 25%. Loyal customers not only offer repeat business, but they are also often vocal brand ambassadors.
So, how can you win more business by boosting the loyalty of your existing customer base? Here are five strategies to implement.
If you want your restaurant to thrive, you need to create loyal customers. Keep them coming back for more by following steps.
Deliver exceptional customer service
You could invest a lot of money in advertising, social media and SEO, and people could still visit your restaurant once and never return. Why? Poor service.
Try to improve your customer service. A consistent customer journey increases satisfaction builds trust and boosts loyalty. Treat first-time visitors to an excellent dining experience and then consistently deliver that same experience — or better — each time they return.
Your workforce is your most valuable asset. When employees are poorly treated or undervalued, it shows in the services they provide. Happy employees are 12% more productive and will put in the extra effort when serving customers. Disgruntled employees, on the other hand, can ruin your marketing efforts.
Connect with customers through social media
Social media is perhaps the best way to highlight your community efforts and interact with your customer base. By sharing user-generated content and responding to comments, you can interact with your customers regularly, respond to comments and reviews, listen to their opinions and build a community.
Develop a distinctive loyalty program
An effective loyalty program can deepen customer engagement and drive more sales for your restaurant.
Build a loyalty program, but be sure to build a program that stands out and doesn’t just give the customer points every time they purchase for a discount at a later date — everyone does that. Try offering different tiers for different purchases, or create offers for kids.
Your loyalty program shouldn’t be too tasking for the customer. One of the top reasons people quit loyalty programs is that rewards take too long to accrue.
Keep things simple, fun and obtainable.
In addition to a regular points program, consider members-only invites to special dinners or charity events. This is especially true when wooing millennials, who are more likely to identify with brands that promote social causes they support.
Use technology to make the experience more personal
According to research by Epilson, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized services. So, if you’re serious about boosting restaurant customer loyalty, you should find ways to customize the dining experience.
Invest in a customer relationship management system that allows you to identify your regular customers and save their preferences. This will allow you to welcome guests more warmly, as well as tailor your email marketing messages to their specific needs.
Adaptive digital menus improve order accuracy, speed up service and make it easier to upsell items to customers. Some technologies can even recognize regularly paired offerings over time and suggest these to diners.
Restaurant customer loyalty is good for business. By delivering consistent service, you’ll increase the chances that customers will come back and spread the word. But don’t stop at great service. Get involved in the community, engage on social media and find creative ways to reward your most active customers. These strategies will help you gain strong brand advocates and give first-timers more reasons to stick around