With repeat customers spending an average of 300 times more than new customers, it is in your best interest as a restaurant owner or operator to do everything that you can to ensure every customer becomes a repeat customer.
Something as simple as wishing your customer a happy birthday and noting that they have a peanut allergy can go a long way in retaining a loyal customer fanbase, especially in the highly competitive world of food service. From the first time your guests walk in, having a restaurant CRM integrated with your POS can allow you to start gathering information that will help you ensure guests feel valued and come back time and time again.
CRM stands for customer relationship management, and if this component of your POS software isn’t already enabled and in use, now is the time to get it set up and running. Utilizing a CRM as part of your food service business will allow you to better monitor your customer’s buying behavior, provide a more personalized dining experience, and improve loyalty and customer retention.
If you’re in sales or marketing, you probably use a CRM to track opportunities and take notes about prospects, but this type of data gathering extends beyond sales and marketing and serves other purposes for different industries, including restaurants and food service operations.
In the food service business, what should you store in your POS CRM?
- Basic contact information: This could be as simple as just the person’s name, but can often be expanded to include phone number and e-mail, depending on what your guests would like to provide. You can also collect this information and provide a consent form ensuring customers can opt-in or out of receiving phone or e-mail communications from your business. The benefit to having the contact information is that you can start to use this in a loyalty program or for ongoing marketing purposes. Having their name provides a simple benefit in itself – addressing them by name when they visit and ensuring they feel more welcome.
- Dietary restrictions and/or preferences: Particularly utilized in senior living dining, understanding and noting the dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests can go a long way in maintaining a relationship. When it is stored in your restaurant POS CRM, it can display on the POS tablet being used tableside, with information also being sent through to your kitchen equipment. It helps serving staff provide helpful and unique menu item recommendations and also helps the kitchen deliver a meal just as desired. Common flags that get set up include gluten-free, vegetarian, allergy to nuts, allergy to dairy, and common preferences that get inputted include favorite beverages or meals.
- Transaction & booking history: This will display all the previous transactions (often including receipts) and reservations.
- Other personalized information: You can input birthday information, information about pets or other fun facts depending on the level of flexibility and customization that your POS CRM offers, in addition to the level of information that your customers may be comfortable sharing.
Once you start storing information, you’re able to start performing a few additional critical functions that can help your business thrive.
- Know your customer. Customer relationship management is a fundamental part of running a business and growing your operations. By leveraging the data stored in your CRM, you will be able to better understand customer behavior while providing guests with a more personalized dining experience.
- Power your loyalty program. Your POS CRM can be used to power loyalty programs by providing points, discounts, or special offers based on the customer’s buying habits. If you have e-mail information stored, you may even be able to send e-mail offers to customers and encourage them to return. Having a dining loyalty program is key to success, and you can read more about why and how to implement one by clicking here.
- Motivate your employees to build more personal connections. Having the information stored in your CRM at the fingertips of your staff will help them better connect with guests. With dietary restrictions, preferences, birthday or anniversary dates, and other information, your staff can easily and proactively engage with guests who will feel more valued through the delivery of a personal experience.
When implementing the CRM, make sure you prioritize security by choosing a solution that encrypts customer data, and provide the appropriate protocols to ensure customer privacy is protected. Customers who are storing their personal information with you will want to rest assured that their information is not being stolen, shared, or sold – so ensure you cover this component while selling your customers on all the benefits of the CRM.
Have questions about how a CRM integrated with your POS can help? Reach out to us today.