The Tools You Need to Build Customer Loyalty

May 16, 2018
Abhinav Kapur

Why focus on loyalty instead of just new customers?

In an earlier post, we discussed a restaurant's never-ending quest for more orders. Achieving this though can come at a high cost: third-party platforms come with high per-order fees, and delivery zone expansion means lengthy travel times and disappointed diners.

Instead, we like to turn attention to something most restaurants overlook: customer loyalty. In fact, we’ve discovered that loyal customers are 53-76% of a restaurant’s delivery business. This means that more than half a of your delivery customers ordered before and will likely order again.

If you're asking "so what?", the answer is simple: lacking an engagement strategy means you're ignoring over half of your customers! You don't know what makes them loyal, and you can't get them to recruit others to grow your business. Most importantly, you're giving up easy profits, as a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by more than 25%.

The benefits of a sound customer engagement and retention strategy are clear. In this post, we’ll lay out the different tools you can use to get started.

Best Way to Engage In-Store Customers

Square. The POS is just the tip of the iceberg. Square has expanded significantly, smartly adding features that help you run everything from workforce management to customer engagement.

With the POS as the hub for your in-store transactions, you can use Square’s analytics dashboard to keep track of all the basics. All the basics are there of course: daily sales reports, new vs. repeat customer breakdowns, etc. The real reward though is in the details; the nerdier you get (that is our highest complement at Bikky HQ), the greater the pay-off.

Square’s Customer Directory puts all the nitty-gritty information about each customer in one place, including the number of times they’ve visited, average spend, and when they last visited. Square lets you capitalize on all this information by running simple, targeted email marketing campaigns. And because everything runs from your POS, it's easy to measure success by looking at the foot traffic data.

Check out Square’s customer engagement video here for more details.

Best Way to Boost Your Online Profile

Yelp. As discussed in an earlier post, Yelp is an all-in-one tool for reputation management, customer service, and new customer acquisition. According to the company, 92% of consumers make a purchase after visiting Yelp.

And because consumers love Yelp, the company makes it easy to engage anyone reviewing your business. Even with a free account, restaurants can respond to guest reviews, upload photos, and create special deals to drive more foot traffic.

Many restaurants view Yelp as a double-edged sword. We understand. It’s hard to be thrilled about a platform that rewards customers for publicly airing their complaints. However, responding to reviews – especially the negative ones – can yield tangible financial benefits.

According to a recent study from Cornell’s hospitality management school on the value of social engagement, “letting customers know you want their opinion…improves the volume and quality of reviews, and additionally showing them that you are listening by responding to reviews has a favorable effect on review scores and revenue.

By incorporating online reputation management into your daily operations, you can show future customers that their opinion matters, boost your social profile, and grow your revenues.

Best Way to Directly Engage Delivery Customers

Bikky. We wouldn’t be doing this unless we took pride in what we built.

Bikky is the first delivery-focused customer engagement solution for restaurants. We consolidate delivery data from ordering channels, and enable restaurants to setup campaigns that automatically send personal, targeted messages to their customers.

In short, it’s a combination of what we outlined above for Square and Yelp, with a specific focus on your delivery business. As the hub for your delivery operations, you get a centralized view of your busiest order channels, repeat customers, and sales.

But if you want to get really nerdy (remember, that’s the best part!), there are a host of additional features to turn you into an engagement expert, including:

  • segmenting diner data with a few clicks;
  • creating personalized messages for different campaigns, and;
  • queuing them up to send while you focus on your day-to-day tasks.

And because everything is tied to your delivery data, it's easy to measure campaign effectiveness and when diners reorder.

Bikky really is an all-in-one platform for managing delivery data and customer engagement. Our restaurant partners inform every aspect of our product, ensuring that it's built with you in mind.

Hungry for more content on loyalty? Check out our blog post:

What Restaurant Loyalty Really Means — And How to Achieve It