The restaurant business is a particularly tough one. Customers constantly expect the best service, meaning that restaurants have to control many more factors than other businesses. Some elements of the customer experience restaurants must consider creating an exceptional customer journey include staff friendliness, wait times, quality of products, and more. All of this makes it easy to not meet customer expectations along the way.
The Busy Season Approaches
As families meet this holiday season, they will likely choose a restaurant to spend their time together. This creates an opportunity for restaurant managers to bring an exceptional customer experience to the whole family. However, it also poses challenges if the experience will not be what the customer anticipated.
A negative customer experience during the customer season might not only result in negative word of mouth from one or two customers but from an entire family, spreading its reach and discouraging more potential customers from ever visiting the restaurant.
A Negative Experience Is More Than Lost Revenue
But the negative customer experience in the restaurant business is about much more than just lost revenue. That is because people are twice as likely to leave a negative review, with many of them leaving never to return and give a business a second chance to improve on the gaps they might have left in their customer experience during the first visit.
You Don’t Always See a Negative Customer Experience
While some negative customer experiences in the restaurant business can be obvious, whether by seeing the disgruntled customer or by having them complain in person or through an online channel, many negative experiences go unnoticed and, therefore, cannot be improved.
Not providing customers with the ability to immediately share their frustrations is risky not only for reputation but referrals and loyalty. They are likely to stop using the restaurant services and potentially even encourage their friends and family to do the same, without managers even knowing what they did wrong and how they can address those blind spots in the future.
Gain Deep Customer Insights wiht AI-Powered Feedback
A novel technological advancement is surfacing to meet the demand for managers to tackle those elusive areas. Commonly abbreviated as AI, Artificial Intelligence is enabling restaurant enterprises to unlock even more targeted insights from customer feedback
Beyond simplifying the process of feedback aggregation, AI also helps restaurant owners to focus on feedback from their key target audiences. Combining demographic data with customer satisfaction data, managers can create a more detailed and nuanced picture of their customers. This information can be used to answer key questions such as, are your marketing dollars working as planned? Are the demographics behaving differently than anticipated? What's the lifetime value of different customer segments? And apply these insights into informed decision making.
Using AI to Mitigate Bad Experiences
Lots of reasons drive restaurant businesses to use AI solutions for better experiences in tough times. Here are some of the usual ones:
More loyal customers: When customers notice a restaurant values their thoughts and uses them to decide, they tend to come back and use the services again.
Saves money: Getting feedback and studying it with AI costs way less than having a team in the company to do it. Most restaurants can't afford that.
No more missing parts: As mentioned earlier, managers often miss things about what customers feel. AI helps fix those gaps by letting customers easily share what they think.
Doing better than others: When businesses gather more information about how customers feel, they do better than competitors who don't have that data. The more feedback they get, the more they lead.
Finding new insights: AI and tech can understand information in ways people might not. This helps discover new ideas to make customers even happier.
Analyzing Data on a Tight Timeline
Even though we have the help of artificial intelligence, looking through customer data still needs a lot of things, especially time. Managers in all fields, especially restaurants, are already short on time.
This is where managed services step in. They let managers save resources and give the job of looking at data to another company that's really good at it. This not only saves money but also usually gets better results.
What Are Managed Services and How Do They Work?
Managed services let restaurant businesses hire an outside group to measure and study data to deliver insights that guide improvements. This allows them to concentrate on their main work without extra pressure.
Managed services support managers in enhancing customer experience in three key ways:
- First, they set up feedback collection across the entire restaurant and give best practices for high responses and precise data. This empowers managers with valuable understandings while freeing their attention to other responsibilities.
- Secondly, managed service providers dissect the data and deliver insights, trends, and patterns.
- Lastly, managed services facilitate the implementation of informed changes. These changes can span areas like staff, training, and resource allotment.
Even though the holiday season brings its own set of challenges for restaurant businesses, real-time customer feedback solutions empowered by AI technologies can simplify tackling those issues. Moreover, it can unveil fresh possibilities for the future, enabling restaurant managers to utilize this time to surge ahead of their competition.
Managed services harness the power of artificial intelligence to aid managers in distributing resources more effectively. They can concentrate on their daily duties within the restaurant, with the added advantage of a seasoned third-party provider who specializes in advising on customer experiences.