Five Ways You Can Use Technology to Increase Customer Loyalty

Covid-19 has presented a range of challenges for bars, restaurants, and convenience stores. Lack of staff, supply chain issues, changing restrictions, and rising costs have all combined to make this one of the most difficult periods the industry has ever faced.

Now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the challenge is how to retain customers in an increasingly competitive environment. Loyal customers are the key to the success of any business, with it being five times more expensive to target new customers than it is to retain old ones.

Since March 2020, trends have changed, and these can provide exciting opportunities when it comes to maximising customer loyalty. The increasing trend of remote workers ordering lunch to enjoy with their partners is an example of how new ways of living and working can offer a chance to secure more repeat custom. To discover how you can use technology in your venue to encourage customer loyalty, read on.

1. Get To Know Your Customers Using an App

Allowing customers to reserve a table and place their orders at the tap of a button is a powerful way to increase customer loyalty. Customers save time when making a booking and don’t have to wait for a member of staff when they want to order food or another round of drinks.

This streamlined process will make your venue a convenient choice and reduce the number of complaints or negative reviews you receive due to human error. Letting customers earn rewards through your app will also help to increase loyalty and provide an incentive for them to choose your venue over a competitor.

The data you receive from an app will give you a greater insight into customer behaviour. You can use this to give each customer a better experience and offer relevant promotions. It’s essential to do everything you can to keep your customers engaged as 91% of customers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.

2. Launch A Loyalty Scheme

A loyalty scheme gives customers an incentive to choose your business and lets them know that they are valued. Loyalty schemes need to be personalised to be effective, and offering something unique and exciting will help you stand out from the crowd. If you need some inspiration, check out these ideas from Shopify.

Having a strong digital offering combined with a valuable loyalty scheme can be a great way to attract new customers and win repeat business. 44% of customers have changed where they order food from due to their usual place having a subpar digital offering, so making sure that yours is one of the best is likely to be an investment that pays for itself many times over.

3. Introduce A Subscription Service Model

One of the many benefits of a digital solution is the ability to introduce a subscription model. This is where customers pay a monthly fee to access freebies, exclusive discounts, and special rewards.

Pret successfully launched a subscription model where customers can enjoy up to five drinks per day for a set monthly fee. Subscribers have a clear incentive to choose Pret over their competitors as they have paid for their drinks in advance.

You could take inspiration from Pret to set up something similar for your own business. Subscriptions boost loyalty and also help to attract new customers who are looking for a cost-effective way to enjoy their favourite treats.

4. Boost Sales with Online Ordering

A long queue will quickly make customers change their minds about ordering food or drinks. They want to spend their time with the people at their table, not standing in a queue, and if the group goes up together, there is a risk the table will be taken by someone else.

Online ordering eliminates this risk as it lets your customers place their order from the comfort of their table. Being able to order quickly and with ease may even encourage them to get in another round of drinks or some extra snacks.

Online menus also allow customers to read through all the options in their own time, so even those who weren’t planning to order food may change their minds when they see what is available. 41% of millennials said that an online ordering option would drive them to make a purchase, so providing the ability to have food and drinks delivered at the touch of a button might even lead to a sale from a customer who wasn’t planning to make a purchase.

5. Attract More Customers with a Digital Offering

More businesses than ever before now have a digital offering, and without one, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. 63% of customers aged 25-40 will frequent a restaurant or convenience store that has a digital offering more often than ones that do not.

Having smooth and efficient technology will provide a consistent customer experience and help attract new customers and get more business from existing ones. Customers who have a great experience are also likely to recommend you to their family and friends.

Are you Ready to Boost Customer Loyalty?

Technology can help you provide a more streamlined customer experience, which will help you stay ahead of the competition when it comes to service, choice, and convenience. Customers who are impressed by your venue will be keen to return and recommend you to their family and friends.

Are you ready to introduce technology to your venue and reap the rewards? Book a demo now to see how food2go can help to transform your business.