Restaurant CRM is a great tool to generate engagement and interest from your customers. Using this tool allows you to create customized services that enable you to establish better relationships with your customers.
And if you’re thinking that your small business won’t benefit from this tool, then you might want to rethink that thought. Keep in mind that regardless of the size of your business, improving customer service and experience greatly benefits your business.
Also, if you’re managing a smaller group of customers, you’ll have more freedom in formulating the experience that you want to deliver. Which makes it more advantageous on your end as a business owner.
Restaurants are customer-centric businesses. It runs in a fast-paced environment that makes it almost impossible for you to keep track of everyone you make transactions with. Yes, this is not just about the people who dine into your establishment.
You have to keep in mind that everyone you make transactions with is considered your customer. Your diners, staff, and even the suppliers you’re in contact with. If you observe the best practices on how to use this tool, you can easily determine who they are and what kind of transitions they have done with your restaurant.
Once you have the database with that information, then you can just integrate it with your staff’s company phone or any display screen that you use (iPad or tablet). Your staff can deliver better customer service if they already have an idea of what the customers want.
While it is still best that you truly know every customer that you have, it might seem impossible for you. The second-best option for you is to create an illusion that you know everyone and care for them.
This article may be of great assistance to you if you are interested in learning more about this tool. We have discussed here how customer relationship management tools can benefit businesses, specifically restaurants.
Customer Relationship Management for Restaurants
Have you ever wondered what’s in the mind of your customers? Wouldn’t it be easier for you and your business if you know what, how, and when they want a service? What if we told you that there’s a tool that can help you understand your customers (even potential ones) easier?
And no, you don’t need to interview every customer that you encounter to gain a better perspective about them. All you need is a tool that analyzes customers’ numbers and data for you. To gain a better understanding of this tool, here’s what you need to know more.
What is a CRM?
Customer relationship management or most commonly known as CRM is software that gathers and captures data from your customers. From that data, it creates a database to help you determine which type of service suits best for the majority of your customers.
It generally collects the basic information from a customer such as complete name, address, contact details, history of the transactions of the customer, and helpful data about the customer’s behaviors and preferences.
The use of this tool will depend on which part of your team is using it. If your marketing team is using it, they would most likely make the database as a basis for their future campaigns. For your sales team, they can use it for follow-up calls and sales pitch.
It is a tool that can benefit your business and helps you pivot your entire operations in a manner that will serve your customer’s best interests. This is why it is noted as the single largest software in the market today.
CRM has three main subcategories namely:
● Analytical CRM – It specializes in providing analytics that helps you generate sales forecasts, profitability forecasting, and predictive modeling.
● Collaborative CRM – This is the type that breaks down data silos, consolidates communication platforms, and streamlines internal collaboration.
● Operational CRM – It mainly focuses on the automation of marketing and optimization of workflows.
First, you can hold that thought while you decide which of the types would work best for your restaurant. Almost all of a CRM’s core features are already of value to your business operations, so you must know about them. Here are the core functions that can turn your business around without requiring more complicated functions.
CRM – Core Functions
CRM solutions are built around this fundamental principle. There is no doubt that while all of them offer different features and have different points of interest, they will all help you compile an analytical report on your customers. It can guide you more effectively for making more informed business decisions as a restaurateur.
Analytics and Reports
With CRM, you can easily generate accurate and updated reports such as sales cycle, CRM pipeline, and goal progress reports. Monitoring and tracking your progress and measuring your ongoing campaigns will be simpler with the use of this tool.
Every CRM software can help you on your automation journey. It carries automation tools that make it easier for you to optimize the automation of your workflow. You can also use it for event triggers, for instance, email follow-ups.
Lastly, you’ll have access to communication logs that can be useful for your next campaigns or just to double-check every transaction. This is a huge advantage for you as any type of automation can help you produce a more reliable and efficient service.
What is Restaurant CRM Software?
In a restaurant setting, CRM functions are almost the same. It collates useful information about your customers and provides you with a database. This database will now make it easier for you to generate targeted marketing campaigns and personalized service to your customers.
For better customer service, CRM often focuses on one particular industry. Ultimately, while the majority of CRMs will solve your restaurant CRM needs, a good restaurant CRM should include the following features:
● Reservation systems integration
● System integration with POS Systems
Even so, as previously explained, no two CRM systems will be the same. Hence, you would want to examine the information collected about customers and guests, as well as GDPR compliance. Essentially, anything that corresponds to the needs of your industry should be considered when selecting a CRM system.
How To Use A CRM?
CRM for restaurants can help you answer relevant business questions that you have. Here are the most common questions you can address by using the data your CRM can produce for you.
● Who’s ordered from a third-party platform?
● How can I convert customers using a third-party delivery platform to your native platform?
● How can I get delivery customers into the store?
● How much ROI can I expect from this advertising?
● Are there any customers who are both on my loyalty program and receive orders (whether they’re third-party or direct orders)?
● How many guests who were highly active one year ago are now inactive?
● After downloading my loyalty app, what percentage of customers return one, two, three, four (etc) months later?
● What is the customer lifetime value (LTV) for physical customers? How about delivery customers?
● What is the return on my social media investment?
● Who are your top ten percent and how can you reward them monthly, quarterly, and yearly?
● What percentage of my customer base is vegetarian or vegan? What is the best way to personalize messages to them?
● Who are your big spenders ( you can state your monetary metric)?
There is more to CRM than poorly targeted promotions and non-targeted mailing lists. Organizations rely heavily on their CRM. Data from every transaction is automatically ingested and organized, and the meaning hidden within is extracted.
Who should access it?
The main purpose of a CRM can be identified through the questions mentioned above. To summarize, you need this tool to do the following:
● Get accurate, reliable information about your customers
● Build a more authentic relationship with guests to increase profitability
In other words, the team that controls the data and strategy of engaging customers has to be the one who uses the restaurant CRM. It is the marketing team’s responsibility to assume this responsibility.
They are responsible for finding creative and innovative ways to market your brand, and data provides them with the tools they need to become more effective.
Additionally, the software engineers of your brand contribute material value to discussions about vetting, rolling out, and utilizing restaurant CRMs. The data that already flows through your organization is what they help you access better.
An integral part of the process is to involve your tech team in the implementation and integration of restaurant CRM with your existing tech initiatives (POS, online delivery, loyalty programs, etc.).
What Are The Factors To Consider In Choosing A CRM?
Before we discuss the benefits further, first, here’s a list of the factors that may affect your decision in selecting the best CRM for your restaurant.
● Customer Service
● Support Service
It is a must that you choose not just the most popular one, but the one that you think will fit perfectly for your daily operations. Avoid jumping into fads and carefully consider how this tool can address the current needs of your operations.
Customer Relationship Management – Benefits
Streamlined workflow and increased profitability are just some of the benefits of CRM in restaurants. It will be easy to interpret and take action with the help of CRM software designed for restaurants.
It collects essential customer data.
If you have your hand in data that can help you gain a better understanding of your customers, your marketing and customer segmentation couldn’t be easier. A true advantage is the way it gathers data automatically and saves your team the time spent manually entering information during the check-out process.
Here is the basic information that you can collect from your customers through their transactions.
● Order History and Preferences. Using it, staff can keep track of past orders and spot trends. Integrating this can help your servers suggest menu items that may be of interest to your dine-in customers. For online orders, they can suggest menu items based on what they ordered last time.
Through this, the checkout process will be quickly facilitated with accuracy in place. Your customers will also feel delighted as they know that you’re giving importance to their preferences.
● Basic Contact Information. As long as you have a customer’s name, email address, and phone number, you’re quite invincible. Everything that you need to produce targeted campaigns and create more thorough customer segments will be delivered right at your hands.
● Special Customer Information. To build a deeper connection with your customers, or even just your chosen few, you can utilize their birthdays, anniversaries, or any important celebration. It is a great way to remind them that you’re willing to celebrate with them.
If the said dates are drawing near, you may send them an email or SMS that shows them you remembered their special day. Be careful and avoid making it look like a promotional message.
Consider creating a personalized message for them and strategically invite them to celebrate with you.
● Restricted Dietary Requirements. Restaurants should offer a wide variety of choices on their menus, regardless of where they are located. With this tool, restaurant guests can make note of allergies and dietary restrictions so they can have a safe and comfortable experience whenever and wherever they are.
It secures customer’s data.
Almost every transaction is done digitally. This is why it is a must that you assure your customers that the data they provide you are secured. You must also clearly state how you will use their data.
In the first place, storing the data of all your customers on a single platform reduces the risk of it being hacked since the data won’t be spread to multiple systems that might be compromised. As each team member has a unique login, you can easily keep track of when and by whom the guest data is accessed.
Additionally, integrated restaurant CRMs use sophisticated security measures to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive data. A key purpose of encryption is to obscure the intended meaning of the data, making it difficult for others to read it.
It helps you gain valuable insight from your customers.
A restaurant CRM integrates all of your reservation platform and POS information into one place, so you have a complete view of each guest.
CRM software helps you develop a comprehensive understanding of each customer by combining all customer interactions into a single customer profile. As a result, these user profiles act as digital archives containing important data about consumption, reservations, and orders.
It allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns.
You will find that customers are more likely to accept the right promotions when they are sent to the right person at the right moment than when you send them all the same offer. Mass marketing is ineffective compared to targeted marketing.
Your campaign can be targeted to your customers by doing research into their dining preferences and personalizing the deals you send.
For instance, your restaurant offers both pasta and pizza. Your customers tend to order one item or the other. If you have a CRM, you can see that your pizza eaters visit you during lunch or afternoon breaks, while your pasta eaters tend to come during dinner time.
If you want to boost your sales with your pizza sales during dinner and your pasta sales during the afternoon, you must formulate a special promotion that’s enticing enough for your customers. A loyalty program can be sufficient for this take.
And since your CRM software has been constantly gathering menu item preferences from customers, you can now easily determine your pizza and pasta eaters. You can send the right offer to the right person, at the best moment they (look like) need it.
It simplifies the analysis of market and sales trends.
You can also gain insights into the behavior and order patterns of your customers from your restaurant’s CRM platform. It enables you to identify and analyze sales trends that drive business decisions by sharing data with the rest of your tech stack.
You can, for instance, uncover that a particular option is very popular among takeout customers based on your CRM. This information can then be used to increase sales by offering your off-premise customers a combination of meals that includes their favorites.
It generates customer loyalty.
Loyalty programs are created so that repeat customers are rewarded for their loyalty. By consenting to this, they are agreeing to let the restaurant track, store, and receive information related to their activities at the restaurant.
With that information, you can then improve the effectiveness and appeal of your restaurant’s loyalty program.
CRM and POS integrated into your loyalty program can give you a clearer picture of customer behavior than if they were isolated. This integration enables you to see clearly what most likely will appeal to your loyalty programs signees.
It makes upselling and cross-selling easier.
Marketing targeted to a specific audience is more efficient than marketing to a general audience. You can also implement this principle to your service by teaching your servers to check customer profiles first so that they can provide customized service.
If your servers have an idea of what your customers want, they can easily make acceptable high-value recommendations to them. If a customer frequents a cup of coffee, you may offer them a similar drink at a higher price.
Make sure to build rapport with them. From this, you can also find out what their preferred partner is for this drink. Do they like it with a biscuit or a slice of cake? As a result, you can cross-sell and upsell easier.