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Viewpoint - Bob Gershberg - October 2023

Building an Impressive Customer Experience Strategy by Bob Gershberg, CEO & Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search Winning customers in today’s competitive environment starts with a strong customer experience strategy. Whether you’re running a large chain or an emerging independent, even small changes to customer experience can make a big difference for bottom-line profit. Customer experience refers to the ongoing relationship between your business and its patrons. The restaurant customer experience involves every interaction that goes on between your establishment and diners–from your digital ads targeting new customers, to your menus and mobile ordering, to your loyalty programs. Building a customer experience strategy for a restaurant chain is crucial for ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. Begin by researching and understanding your target audience. Analyze their demographics, preferences, and behaviors to tailor your strategy to their needs. Determine what sets your restaurant chain apart from the competition. Your unique value proposition should be the foundation of your customer experience strategy. Ensure that your staff is well-trained in providing excellent customer service. Invest in ongoing training to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge. Maintain a consistent brand image across all locations. This includes branding, décor, and service standards. Consistency helps build trust and recognition. Establish a strong online presence through a well-designed website and active social media profiles. Use these platforms to engage with customers, share updates, and respond to feedback. Offer online ordering and delivery services if applicable, ensuring a seamless and user-friendly ordering process. A good online experience is crucial for customer satisfaction. An exciting menu isn’t enough to bring in new customers and keep them coming back. Growing your customer base is about a stellar customer experience and convincing diners and onlookers that your restaurant gives them everything they want and need. Continuously innovate and update your menu to keep customers interested. Offer a variety of options, including healthy, vegetarian, and allergy-friendly choices. Maintain high food quality standards and consistency across all locations. Use fresh ingredients and ensure that your menu items meet or exceed customer expectations. Encourage customers to provide feedback and actively listen to their comments and suggestions. Use this information to make improvements in your service and menu. Develop a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers. This can include discounts, free items, or exclusive events for loyal patrons. Use customer data to personalize the dining experience. This can include personalized recommendations, special offers, or personalized greetings when customers visit your restaurants. Especially in a post-pandemic world, focus on cleanliness and hygiene standards to ensure that customers feel safe and comfortable dining in your establishments. Engage with the local community through sponsorships, charity events, or other activities. This helps build a positive brand image and strong customer relationships. Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor the success of your customer experience strategy. Metrics to consider include customer satisfaction scores, repeat business, and online reviews. Continuously adapt and improve your strategy based on customer feedback, industry trends, and emerging technologies. Customer preferences may change over time, and your strategy should evolve accordingly. Customer Experience, Customer Service, and Customer Care are not the same. Customer service and care are the building blocks of customer experience. According to a socially and economically diverse patron study by Deloitte, all restaurant guests have almost identical reactions to the way their restaurant customer experiences unfold. Guests who leave your restaurant unhappy are more likely to tell their social circles (73%) about their experience than those who leave satisfied (41%). A great CX strategy requires a customer-centric mindset and intensive planning. Having a sound digital experience strategy requires working across all business functions with an omnichannel approach in mind. Focus on the best practices of how to improve customer experience. Having a well-designed customer experience management framework can have a significant impact on any business. The better experience your customers have, they are highly likely to give positive reviews and share with their circle of friends, while simultaneously reducing the friction of customer complaints. The key benefits of increased customer experience are as follows:

  1. Reduce customer churn – A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25% or more. Businesses that focus on solving customer queries proactively through personalized conversations reduce churn and increase retention.

  2. Increase customer lifetime value (CLTV) – Businesses that focus on reducing churn and delighting existing customers increase the lifetime value of customers. The longer you can keep customers, the greater the provided value during their lifetime relationship with your brand.

  3. Boost client satisfaction rate – When customers have a positive experience with your brand, their satisfaction level increases. They share their experiences online as well as with friends and relatives with good word of mouth. Building a successful customer experience strategy for a restaurant chain requires a customer-centric approach and a commitment to delivering outstanding service. By consistently meeting customer expectations and actively seeking ways to exceed them, you can create a loyal customer base and drive business growth. All the best,

Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner| (888) 875-9993 ext 102 Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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