Positive customer experiences as a driver for better results
How do your customers experience an order at your restaurant? Is your website user-friendly, are your customers satisfied with the quality of the food, and are they taken care of if they have questions and/or complaints? All of these questions are questions about the customer experience. We at CashDesk would like to share our knowledge on this topic with you. We have divided this blog about customer experience into an introduction and three separate parts. If you are curious about which concrete improvements you can make yourself, please read the other parts of the blog that covers each phase of the Customer Journey in detail.
In this introduction, we explain the importance of the customer experience and give you an overview of the different phases a customer goes through during the Customer Journey of your restaurant. The blog is written for both traditional and delivery restaurants.
What is that exactly, the customer experience?
Customer service, promotion, ease of use and reliability are all components that influence the experience a customer gains from an (online) visit to a restaurant (Meyer & Schwager, 2007). Positive and negative reactions can be expressed both consciously and unconsciously, varying from a dissatisfied customer switching to a competitor to a customer who retains a positive feeling about the ease of use of a website. However, it has proven to be difficult for many restaurants to coordinate all every department to find the right balance (Menninga, 2014).
Back in the days, personal contact was the only kind of contact with the customer. This made the customer experience very clear. Now that many channels have been added since the Internet Revolution, the contact-moments with the customer became more complicated. Despite the fact that this is difficult for many restaurants, there is a lot of room for improvement in order to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
A positive customer experience not only leads to loyal customers, but also generates word-of-mouth advertising (Maklan & Klaus, 2011). Improving the customer experience, for example, offers opportunities to retain current customers and attract new ones. Therefore, improving the customer experience is a top priority for managers because it can lead directly to an increase in turnover (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016).
The three phases of the Customer Journey
The final customer experience follows from the Customer Journey. This ‘journey’, which the customer goes through with the order of a meal as the focal point, consists of three phases. For each phase, we have written a separate article in which concrete solutions and advice are given!
This phase starts as soon as a customer first comes into contact with a restaurant, in whatever way. The ordering phase is characterized by recognizing and identifying a need, searching for options and considering them.
When the customer proceeds to a decision he/she enters the order phase. During this phase the customer makes a choice, goes through the process of ordering and pays the customer according to one of the offered payment options.
Once payment has been made, the customer enters the post-purchase phase where the consumption of the meal has an essential impact on the final customer experience.
Despite the fact that positive customer experiences are of great importance to your restaurant, many restaurants fail to get all the different departments moving in the same direction. A good way to start is to map out your customer’s entire Customer Journey, from the phase before ordering food, to the phase after ordering food. It can also be valuable to ask people around you for honest feedback. For example, let them go through the entire Customer Journey consciously for once. Then, you can start implementing concrete tips from the other parts of this blog, but you will undoubtedly also have come up with ideas yourself. Should CashDesk be able to help you implement one of these ideas, such as building a user-friendly website, please contact us!
The next part of this blog discusses the first phase of the Customer Journey, the phase before ordering food. In this phase, it’s all about appealing to the right target groups and generating brand awareness. Read the next part of the blog here!