Sometimes, a warm smile and a sunny disposition from the wait staff just aren’t going to cut it — at least, not in a competitive restaurant space. Beyond ensuring good food leaves the kitchen with every order, a crucial step in customer loyalty is the ability to hone customer service skills, which start the moment a potential diner makes a reservation.
Personalising the customer experience goes beyond greeting someone at the door by their name. It has evolved into building a relationship that extends beyond providing a great dining experience. When it comes to building your restaurant’s brand loyalty, the devil is in the details. It’s significant details such as diet, seating preference, and other nuggets that make a difference. Here’s where restaurants can leverage customer data to build a genuine relationship with your customer base.
A few simple yet strategic steps can secure your restaurant’s real estate on a diner’s mind, days after the meal.
1. Prioritise diner requests
Dining out isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. With preferences across dietary and payment, diners are now spoilt for choice — no matter how strict a restaurant’s policy is. There’s always wiggle room, which is where you, as a service provider, come in.
A study of Chope reservations* found that one in three reservations made came with an attached message. The top three categories these messages fall into are:
- 56% – Preferences (Dietary, Seating)
- 26% – Special Occasions (Birthdays, Anniversaries)
- 18% – Payment-Related Queries (Vouchers Applicable, Credit Cards)
Turn every special request into an opportunity to retain loyal customers. Diners’ messages are extremely important. By showing that you make an effort to personalise a diner’s experience, you go beyond their expectations.
*Based on a study of over 2.9 million reservations across more than 1,000 restaurants in Singapore, from June 2016 to June 2018.
2. Attention and recognition for loyalty
Repeat diners can be big word-of-mouth ambassadors.
This is how successful restaurants enjoy longevity in the competitive restaurant landscape — with a steady growth of repeat diners who contribute up to 22% of reservations* each month.
What exactly keeps them coming back? A whopping 80% were willing to frequent a business again if that business recognises their personal preferences.
*Based on restaurants that have been on Chope for more than two years.
3. Remember repeat diners
Customer data should include rich diner details, such as seating preferences and dietary requirements. 37% of diners told Deloitte that they are won over when restaurants remember their needs and preferences.
Diner tags are a quick way to profile your diners. With strong visual cues, they provide timely reminders to your front-of-house team ahead of a diner’s reservation. Make your diners feel special by greeting them by name and recommending menu items based on their previous orders. These little details give them a sense of belonging that will altogether culminate in a truly personalised dining experience.
Remember, it’s the little things that matter.
Want to find out more? Learn about how our Chope products offer diners a personalised experience. Subscribe to Chope For Restaurants for updates and tips on how to grow and sustain your restaurant business.