How To Build Lasting Relationships With Online Customers
With online ordering sales exceeding 38 billion dollars, it’s no surprise that taking orders over the phone has started to become old news. So, as a restaurant brand, how can you build online relationships that are long-lasting, even without basic human interaction?
We’ve broken it down into three key areas to focus in order to best grow and maintain relationships, regardless of the face time you have with customers.
Understand your customers.
The ability to stay relevant depends on knowing your demographic and how they operate. To better grasp your audience, first start by analyzing your surroundings: Where are you located? Are there offices, schools, or homes nearby your restaurant? How close are your direct competitors?
Next, take a look at the information you can pull from transactions: What dishes are your customers ordering the most? When are they ordering them? Are your staple items more popular, or are trendier items catching the lion’s share of revenue? Pay close attention to the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) of your customer’s ordering habits, and try to put yourself in their shoes. If you don’t have access to that data, choose an online ordering provider like ChowNow.
Once you have a clearer understanding of your audience, try running a targeted online marketing promotion. For instance: run a game day special targeted to college students, or a weekday dinner discount for those 9 to 5 worker bees. By speaking directly to your consumer and honing in on their needs, this will help create a curated experience that will make them want to come back for more.
Here’s another resource to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of running online promotions.
Reward your most loyal customers.
Think back to the old 80/20 rule: 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. In other words — in order to build the best relationships with your customers, you must seek out and reward those who bring the most value to your business.
If you have the capability to run reports, find out who is ordering most frequently from your restaurant and take advantage of that data. These customers have proven they are loyal to your brand, and this will allow you to reward them for that loyalty.
Once you have this information, be creative with how you’d like to show your appreciation. How about creating a special that month and naming it after them? Or holding a private dine-in event for your most loyal patrons? A little recognition for your brand ambassadors will go a long way, especially if you can combine it with something they can’t help but tweet about.
Keep up constant communication.
Communication with your customers is key to long-lasting relationships. Though customers may crave the convenience of online ordering, face-to-face interaction is sometimes missed as well. Ongoing communication through email marketing and social media can provide your customers the best of both worlds, so they remain loyal fans of your brand.
If you’re new to email marketing and don’t know where to start, consider sending out a newsletter with any relevant news about your restaurant, specials and promotions, or even a limited release of recipes. Utilize social media to post images and daily, weekly, or monthly updates. Use our basic social media checklist to make sure your efforts are effective. You’d be surprised how much your customers want to hear what you are up to!
Focusing on understanding your customers, rewarding your most loyal customers, and keeping up constant communication will enable you to develop quality relationships, and most importantly — keep your customers ordering again and again.
Want more information on how to build the best online customer relationship? If you’re a ChowNow restaurant client, reach out anytime to schedule a complimentary consultation. If you don’t already have online ordering at your restaurant, get started with a free ChowNow demo today!