Are you getting the most out of your restaurant technology? A good point of sale (POS) suite can handle the daily activities of running your business, such as payment transactions and inventory control — but it can also do much more. With the right tools, you can create customer experiences that encourage loyalty and gain insights that help you build your business. Here are three ways you can keep customers coming back and attract new ones, gaining an edge in today’s competitive environment.
Create Personalized Service
One thing that will always draw customers is the feeling that they are valued. A good POS system will help you create and manage a loyalty program that lets customers know their patronage is appreciated. Besides diners’ contact information, you can monitor metrics and data such as ordering habits, frequency of visits, and important dates such as birthdays or anniversaries in order to create customized offers. You can also gauge the effectiveness of the loyalty program itself to see if you get better results basing rewards on number of visits, amount of money spent, or purchases of a particular type. Analyzing data can also show which rewards resonate better with your customers, showing whether it’s better to offer a free dessert, a gift card, or a coupon for 10% off the next order. Customers also love to feel they’re getting something exclusive, so you might create special “VIP perks” such as preferential seating or a limited number of invitations to a tasting party when you introduce new menu items and monitor the response to those types of promotions.
Customer histories also allow you to segment your marketing list and send personalized offers instead of blanket, generic coupons.
Win Back Lapsed Customers
Customers have a lot of dining choices, and even those who love your establishment can be enticed by offers from other restaurants. Restaurant technology can shed light on how recently a customer has been to your restaurant. This will help you identify those who have “lapsed” by not visiting your establishment within a certain time period or are at risk of falling into that category. Once you know which customers need a nudge to stop back in, you can send customized emails with messages letting customers know you value their business (e.g., “we miss you”) or keeping them up to date on what’s new, especially purchase history suggests they’d be interested in it (“we have new menu items you might like”). You can also consider offering a free item or discount to tempt them back.
Track the Effectiveness of Your Strategies
Of course, not every appeal will work for every customer base or every market. The data from your POS system, however, especially one that integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) software, can help you chart the success of your marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to track how many people redeem a particular coupon or see if there is a decrease in your lapsed customer list after the latest round of win-back emails. Your restaurant technology can show you what works and what doesn’t, so you can focus on what works and continuously refine your marketing campaigns.
The data you gather with restaurant technology will help you engineer service and experiences that make your customers feel special and that will get them to come back to patronize your restaurant — and maybe even tell their friends about your business. Evaluate how technology can give you that edge and keep your business thriving.
pcAmerica Heartland POS suite offers the tools you need to build a customer database and leverage that information to create effective marketing that will grow your business.