If you’re a restaurant owner or manager not yet utilizing a customer relationship management tool, commonly known as CRM, you’re missing out on an efficient way to better understand and interact with your customers in the long term.
What can a CRM platform do for you? It allows you to strategize, implement and automate email and social media marketing communications with your customers. You can remind them of your offers, inform them of promotions, create connections that inspire loyalty and allow you to learn more about them so you can customize future communications.
Across industries, CRMs are so popular they’re expected to generate $36 billion in worldwide sales this year, making them the fastest-growing enterprise software subsegment. Businesses responding to a recent Capterra survey listed their top advantages as customer retention and satisfaction.
“As with anything, knowledge is power, and people like being recognized and remembered,” writes marketing consultant Jarrod Galm on NextRestaurants.com. “CRM gives you the ability to know your customers and create customized campaigns specifically for them and their needs.”
Consider the following tips for optimization for your new or existing CRM tool:
Focus on mobile: Research shows 90 percent of smartphone owners use their devices weekly or monthly for shopping-related functions. Make your website and mobile communications sharp and mobile friendly and be sure to prominently list your location, contact info, key features and key promotions.
Keep on top of your mobile app: If your restaurant’s app isn’t meeting its business goals — and a large portion do tend to underperform — you’re likely not optimizing it to its full advantage. The best apps work with your CRM to achieve goals like increasing foot traffic, growing your customer database, improving efficiency, better controlling the quality of your staff, etc. See your developer if yours is starting to feel like a waste of money.
Personalize communications: Today’s customer has little time or patience for marketing schlock targeted toward generalized audiences, meaning you must strive to create personal connections through messaging that’s informed by demographics, analytics and past customer behavior. Make customers feel special by calling them by name and offering them exclusive deals likely to appeal to their persona.
Measure the strategy of your campaign: Whatever you’re trying to achieve, make sure you track results so you understand where your campaign should be adjusted. Possible goals may include higher average checks, greater conversion rates, more referrals, same-store revenue growth, more online orders or reservations, or all of the above.
Don’t waste the opportunity to leverage one of today’s cutting-edge CRMs to make the most of your hard-earned customer base.
“There is currently an ‘engagement crisis’ within the restaurant industry as a whole,” advises Vasilii Diachenko on industry news site Rmagazine.com. “Customers are tired of copycat marketing, stagnant discount offers and impersonal content. In 2017, switch your focus to marketing strategies aimed at building loyalty. This can easily be achieved by developing an effective approach to CRM.”