Citing research from customer intelligence software company VisionCritical, the group’s marketing director Luisa Fernandez said that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product in terms of brand preference, and that personalisation had been shown to have the biggest impact on experience.
“Everyone says that customer experience is at the heart of what they do, and years ago it probably was,” said Fernandez.
“When you went into a bakery they’d know your name and what kind of bread you liked, and the names of your children. But as we moved into a digital world, that became harder and more fragmented.”
Speaking yesterday at the Casual Dining Show, Fernandez, who has previously worked in marketing roles in at BA and BBH, said the airline industry was a model that restaurant groups should look to.
She cited BA’s ‘KnowMe’ programme as an example of an effective implementation of data-driven customer personalisation. The airline employs a team to analyse customer interactions, so that it can personalise future communications to meet their expectations, driving customers to engage and spend more with BA.
Within the restaurant industry, Fernandez said that although Wahaca was doing some “nice stuff” with its data (the company recently started using the Yumpingo survey technology in its Test Kitchen restaurant), she was yet to feel that her experience had been “properly personalised” through technology.
She said that YO! Sushi was in the process of sorting out its customer data in preparation for the new General Data Protection Regulation legislation, which will alter the ways in which companies can collect and use customer data.
“I love and hate GDPR in equal measure. It’s making us sort out our data, and it has become a really important agenda item.
“We will then use that data to get where we want to go with personalisation. We have a blueprint of what we want to build, and we are in the process of doing that.”