At Bloom Intelligence, we know that for restaurant owners and operators, time is a limited commodity that is rarely in abundance.
As restaurant owners and operators know all too well, precious time can be in short supply with staff management, purchasing, finances, guest satisfaction, and more competing for attention.
Yet effective marketing is still essential to success.
Enter the solution – restaurant marketing automation. This technology streamlines processes so that once configured they will automatically execute, thus freeing up your most valuable asset – time.
With marketing automation, restaurant owners can accelerate their daily operations and dedicate more time to other critical activities. This technology enables restaurateurs to streamline tasks that would have traditionally taken up a large percentage of their day-to-day duties.
If you have been on the fence about marketing automation, check out these various types of campaigns that won’t just save you precious time, but will improve guest acquisition and retention, improve online ratings and reviews, increase customer lifetime values, and get lost guests back through your doors.
Improving Ratings and Reviews for Better Guest Acquisition and Retention
Online ratings and reviews are no doubt one of the most powerful things a restaurant marketer can take advantage of.
Did you know that a one-star rating improvement can improve your revenue by up to 9%? Think about that for a moment. Would a 9% increase in revenue make a difference for your business?
Gaining consistent online ratings and reviews is a low-cost key to attracting and retaining guests. They increase your brand’s visibility and help potential guests discover and choose your restaurant.
Unfortunately, it can become rather time-consuming jumping from site to site checking for new reviews, and trying to identify issues and trends.
This is where automation can save you time by surveying your guests whenever they dine in or order online. By getting this type of first-party feedback, you can make data-driven decisions to help improve guest satisfaction and, in turn, your online ratings and reviews.
Automated First-Party Guest Surveys
Using a restaurant customer data platform like Bloom Intelligence, it is quick and easy to create a first-party guest survey campaign. Here’s how it works.
You first create the messages that will be sent to the guests. This message will typically thank them for a recent visit or online order and ask them to provide a rating of their experience – from one-half star to five stars. There is also a field where they can leave a comment.
The message can be configured to be sent after a specific number of visits or online orders so they do not get the message every time.
Then, a rating threshold is set for which a follow-up message will be sent. For instance, if the threshold is set at 2 ½ stars, then if the guest gives a rating of 2 ½ stars or less, a follow-up message can be automatically sent.
In this case, the follow-up message could offer an apology for providing anything less than a great experience and could include an incentive to get them back through your door to give you another chance. The idea is to grab their attention and offer some kind of resolution to their issue – and to do it before they get to an online rating website.
Typically, if a guest knows their negative issue is being addressed in a friendly and positive manner, they may refrain from complaining online. Plus, their odds of returning will increase dramatically.
Another example might be when a guest leaves a very positive rating. You could configure the system to respond with a thank you email letting them know you appreciate their business.
Plus, you can monitor and study all of the responses in one easy place instead of scouring all of the online rating websites. Over time, you will see patterns and trends begin to appear. This is where you can make those changes to your procedures to improve the overall guest experience.
Identifying and Bringing Back Lost Guests Using Restaurant Marketing Automation
Customer churn (when customers stop visiting your restaurant) is inherent in any business. In the restaurant industry, however, it can make or break your business if you cannot identify those guests and get them back through your doors.
There is an enormous amount of competition in the restaurant industry, and it doesn’t take much to shift a guest’s routine. That change in routine can result in a guest who is at risk of churning shifting into a fully churned customer.
It’s no secret that your loyal regulars are the lifeblood of your business. So, when a guest changes their habit of visiting your establishment, do you have a way of knowing?
When you realize this means you must keep tabs on all your guests to the best of your ability, the need for automation begins to take on more clarity. Most restaurateurs simply do not have the time available to monitor all of their patrons in such detail.
But more importantly, can you entice them to come back – all without spending your valuable time sifting through tons of guest data and manually reaching out?
When it comes to utilizing automated marketing to engage at-risk guests, your customer data platform (CDP) can provide powerful insight and use it to automate the entire process. Here’s how.
The Bloom CDP’s intelligent algorithm sets are monitoring each guest’s frequency distribution, individually and as a whole, to understand your guest attrition rate.
By analyzing each guest’s frequency, the platform can accurately predict when a patron should be returning for another visit or ordering online. If the guest does not return or order online by that date, they are identified as a guest who is “at-risk” of churning.
When a customer is deemed to be at risk, a message can be automatically sent with an incentive, such as a free drink or dessert, to return to your restaurant. Even if you choose not to add an incentive, sending an email will help get your restaurant back into the mind of the guest.
Bloom users who implement this campaign are seeing up to 37% of their at-risk guests walk back through their doors. Imagine the impact this would have on your bottom line, all while saving you time and decreasing guest retention costs.
It is 100% automated, and it tracks attribution all the way down to the guest returning and redeeming an offer if provided.
Saving at-risk guests should obviously be a priority for any business that relies on repeat customers. Therefore, you should take steps to identify and mitigate customer churn on an ongoing basis.
Automated Birthday and Holiday Marketing Campaigns
Who doesn’t like to be recognized on their birthday or a special holiday? Happy Birthday and holiday campaigns are a great way to build guest loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.
Moreover, it can be completely automated, saving you even more time while automatically improving your bottom line.
If your guests log into your guest WiFi or online ordering platform using a social media account, the systems can learn the guest’s birthdate and save it in the customer database. Likewise, the
birthdate can be a required field if a guest logs in using their name/email address.
All that is needed to execute this campaign is to create the message that will be sent. Then you simply tell the system how many days prior to the date to send the message.
Give them at least a couple of days to make plans and invite others. Guests who decide to visit on a special day will often bring more people with them, stay longer, and spend more money.
Not only can you increase revenue, but the guest will most likely become more loyal to your place of business, potentially increasing their customer lifetime value.
The best part is that all of these examples are completely automated for you.
These are just a few of the great ways you can improve guest lifetime values, acquisition, and retention all while saving time to improve other aspects of your restaurant business.
To learn more about how Bloom’s restaurant customer data platform can help you create these and other automated restaurant marketing campaigns, click on the link or banner below.
Discover the Bloom Intelligence Restaurant Customer Data Platform
If you are looking for an effective way to improve guest retention while increasing your bottom line all while saving time and energy, then restaurant marketing automation should be a priority for you and your business.
It’s time to start planning for the successful future of your restaurant. Using Bloom’s restaurant marketing and customer data platform, you can leverage real-time guest insights and reporting data to improve your overall guest experience.
Not only will you get your current guests back through your door, but you’ll also attract new guests and keep them coming back.
In a rough economy with rising food and labor costs and diminished consumer spending habits, guest acquisition and retention are crucial for success.
If you’d like to see more of what the Bloom restaurant customer data platform can help grow your business through guest intelligence and marketing automation, schedule a free demo or call 727-877-8181.