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Improving Your Restaurant Customer Experience Before & After the Meal

When you think about your restaurant customer experience, you probably think about how your staff conducts themselves, how the food tastes, and the reception of the ambiance in your restaurant. But today, the customer experience begins long before guests are seated. Learn how you can improve your restaurant customer experience through online efforts.

Providing Accurate Online Information

Accuracy is key in a world where 80% of consumers lose trust in a business if listing contact details or business name is inaccurate. Don’t leave your potential customers frustrated with inaccurate information by providing the the wrong restaurant address or an old phone number. And don’t make the information difficult to find.

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When a hungry consumer is searching for a place to eat, the essential information they want to know should be easy to discover whether they’re performing a Google search, reading reviews on TripAdvisor, or poking around your website.

With technology available, people are more impatient now than ever before. Avoid disappointment by providing correct information in all necessary places online. And of course, make sure the information you’re providing is accurate and up-to-date.

Claiming your business on these different search, review, and travel sites is also wise. It helps ensure you’re in control of your online identity and allows you to interact with customers online.

Worrying about your online visibility, along with everything else you’re taking care of as a business owner, may seem like a hassle. But, it doesn’t need to be. There are other companies and people out there who are able to do the work for you. And SinglePlatform just happens to be one of them.

SinglePlatform will get your correct business information and updated menu in all the relevant places people are searching, like on Google, Yahoo, OpenTable, Yelp, and many others. This is key because if someone has never heard of your restaurant, chances are they’re not going to visit your website directly.

They’re going to use these sites to find the information they need before going any further. And you should be present in all those places so they can find you.

Responding to All Reviews

Word-of-mouth is essential to growing your restaurant business. But, the catch is, in today’s world word-of-mouth isn’t always face-to-face. People take to online platforms, like Yelp and TripAdvisor, to voice their opinions on their restaurant experiences. And by expressing their thoughts this way, they share them with a much larger audience.

Although it’s true that people trust opinions of friends and family members, don’t expect them to ignore the opinions of people they don’t even know. According to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Clearly, you need to be cognisant of what people are saying. And you have to go further than just that. You need to respond accordingly to accept praise or address issues. 85% of consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that responds to reviews. Do you want to risk losing business because you’re ignoring your customers online?

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It’s a good idea to have a plan in place to read and respond to all reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. Remember that there are multiple review platforms to monitor, so don’t let any slip through the cracks.

Make it a point to check in on reviews often and respond in a timely fashion. Your customers will appreciate that you took the time to address their thoughts or concerns, and if need be, went the extra mile to provide a solution.

If you don’t want to go to multiple sites to see your reviews, there are solutions that can help. Review aggregators will get all of your feedback from different sites into one location so you can ensure you’re staying abreast of them all.

Being Present on Social Media

Who isn’t on social media these days? There are 2.19 billion active users on Facebook and 500 million on Instagram. Although everyone may not have a social account, most of us do. And we’re scrolling through them multiple times each day. This is a prime opportunity for your restaurant to make an impact. Having a social presence for a business isn’t a rarity, and in fact, most people will expect it.

A social presence is yet another way to elevate your restaurant customer experience. Interacting with social followers, responding to comments, and running contests are all ways to build your brand outside of your restaurant doors.

Create a voice for your restaurant that is unique and recognizable. Today’s restaurant landscape is competitive, and to win new business you should be constantly thinking of ways to stand out.

Keeping the Conversation Going

Don’t let the relationship-building come to a halt once the bill is paid. Engage with your customers on the platforms mentioned above, and also consider email marketing. If you ask customers for an email address when they’re present in your restaurant, you can build a list to reach out to guests at a later date.

Use this opportunity to create an email newsletter letting customers know about upcoming specials, events, new menu items, and more. Keep your customers in-the-know to inspire them to join you for a meal again. There are also tools within email platforms you can use to personalize the emails to include names. 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

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In Summary

There are plenty of ways to elevate the restaurant customer experience outside of the restaurant. You should have a solid online presence and interact with your customers and potential guests on a regular basis.

Responding to reviews, interacting on social media, sending emails, and providing correct information online are all ways to build a better reputation and engage with your customer base. Don’t just let the conversation stop after a meal is finished, interact with guests long after their visit to your restaurant to heighten the customer experience.