The festive season might be over but that doesn’t mean we should be expecting the January blues next. Christmas is the time of plenty, including the rich reward of customer data gathering. In fact, never have operators known so much about their customers, from when and what they order to frequency and time of visit.
With evidence that the casual dining sector has reached saturation point it’s never been more important to increase your brand’s relevance with customers. Creating personalised offers based on preferences and basket data is a great place to start.
Here we offer some top tips on the best ways to capture customer data and use it to drive footfall, and ultimately revenue, during the bleak winter months.
Use your booking system
Having an online booking tool is no longer a luxury; customers expect it, but most importantly it represents a great opportunity for operators to gather valuable customer insight before the customer even walks through the door. This data can be harnessed to secure repeat business, reduce the number of no shows and optimise table management and turns.
Make your website interactive
An interactive website that encourages customers to share their data is essential in today’s world of hospitality. Use the data you captured here to help develop tactical campaigns and offers bespoke to each customer to help increase footfall during the quieter winter months and ultimately boost revenue.
Make free Wi-Fi work for you
Offering free Wi-Fi is nothing new, but rarely do operators use it to their advantage. Offering free Wi-Fi is not only good for customers, it’s a great way of collecting information on them also. Having a system which requires customers to complete a registration form or login via social media to access Wi-Fi, not only gives them what they desire, but also gives operators the chance to harvest valuable insight.
Your busiest times (like Christmas, Easter and bank holidays) should be the prime time to encourage people to sign up to a loyalty programme to drive repeat business when it is quiet. Last year, 73 per cent of bookings for Christmas Day were booked with a special menu or offer. For example, rewarding party bookers for their custom is a simple and effective way to say ‘thank you’ and encourage a return visit in the new year.
Encourage customers to download an app
A well-designed app that delivers real value to consumers can become the key communication channel between your customers and your brand. A good app has the ability to provide the complete customer journey from browsing the menu, checking in for loyalty benefits, booking a table, or receiving and redeeming a voucher, to ordering and paying for a meal and providing feedback.
Once customers have finished their visit, encouraging feedback is another key opportunity to gather valuable data. You can collect vital insight into their experience – good or bad – on which you can take action.
These multiple data channels – including bookings, feedback and loyalty – can be used to link a customer to their spend data in EPoS, providing operators with richer data on their preferences.