The hospitality and food service industry is an ultra-competitive space. Last year, the global food service industry generated $2.5 billion in revenue, as measured in US dollars. By decade's end, it is projected to eclipse $5 billion. In terms of the sheer amount of eateries across the globe, numbers have risen steadily over the last half decade. In Australia, for example, the number of open establishments has increased from approximately 41,000 to 50,000 since 2017.
Given such a crowded, fast-paced market, how does a business owner differentiate their establishment? By providing a superior and personalised customer experience. Let's take a look at the cutting-edge tech that industry leaders are using to stand out from the crowd. But first, some definitions.
How does a CRM actually work?
What is a CRM, and how does it work? CRM stands for "customer relationship management," which is powerful software capable of pulling and storing a huge range of data from a variety of customer touch points. Every action that your customers take, from contactless payments to scheduling orders and deliveries, and even the check-out process itself, results in a windfall of actionable information for you and your establishment.
When a customer interacts with your business, they leave behind something called "declared data" with every transaction. That data can be anything from name and contact info, to demographic info, to purchase and payment history. From there, your CRM platform catalogues that information for later use.
A high-quality platform allows you and your establishment to use that data in a myriad of ways. With a CRM platform, you'll have the means to create bespoke reports right at your fingertips. In turn, you can use that info to drive marketing campaigns and the overall customer experience.
If you stop and think about the nature of both sales and customer service, which are part and parcel of the professional dynamic in any café, eatery, or restaurant, it can be hard to keep track of customer preferences. Unlike sales professionals and other industries, servers and waitstaff are at a disadvantage. The relationship they foster with patrons is extremely short-term, ad-hoc, and often unpredictable in its timing. If knowledge is power, then CRM software can help even the busiest of employees harness that power.
Related: Mr Yum makes major acquisition to personalise dining experience
CRM: the best marketing tool available
Armed with knowledge and insight, as well as a high-level overview of what CRM is and how it works, it's time to dive into customer relationship management as the ideal, customisable marketing tool for restaurant owners and industry professionals. Here's what it does.
It enhances your ability to personalise content
CRM usage has one primary advantage over all other marketing tools and many methodologies: it provides marketing that is custom-fit to each individual business at its highest point of need and/or preference. In turn, this strength influences all the other advantages that CRM provides. So why exactly is CRM usage so effective and adaptable?
Imagine having the kind of information and robust, thorough customer profiles that inside sales representatives enjoy. How would it revolutionise the way your eatery structures its operations? According to Web FX, a CRM platform improves a business's operational efficiency by a staggering 73% and productivity by 60%. Your venue's ability to meet the customer on their own terms increases exponentially with CRM usage, and it serves as a gateway to all the other advantages inherent to using a software solution.
It prevents data silos
Collecting customer data is nothing new. As long as business has existed in a commercial capacity, entrepreneurs have attempted to develop meaningful customer profiles to help propel their businesses forward. There is a problem with traditional data collection, however: the data silo.
Other data collection models often rely on a single point of contact to gather data. The drawback is that data doesn't always get disseminated to all the key stakeholders within the business. The problem exacerbates the larger your operation is. CRM systems put key data at the fingertips of all key stakeholders simultaneously
It can be purposed for evolving marketing programs
The entire point of CRM usage is to help your organisation develop leaner, more agile marketing methods and assets. To that effect, CRM platforms are unapologetically efficient in their purpose.
Armed with buying preferences, purchasing history, and critical demographic information, your business and its marketing partners can craft targeted ad campaigns that reach precise customers, complete with the ability to launch multi-pronged ad campaigns that are differentiated between customer subsets.
It helps you develop more meaningful loyalty programs
Loyalty and marketing go hand in hand. Loyalty is the olive branch extended to your best repeat customers, and it is one of the strongest methods to improve your bottom line on a persistent basis. CRM usage gives you a plethora of high-value data that can be used to craft perfect loyalty programs for ALL your core clientele.
It helps you convert customers more efficiently
What is the end goal when it comes to marketing and loyalty? Converting customers. That means attracting both new business and ensuring repeat business from your best customers. Because CRM platforms give you such customisable outlets for your collected data, you can more easily convert customers into high-value business.
It helps you provide more responsive customer service and an optimized customer experience
There's an old piece of sales advice: the customer is king. While increased revenue and sustained business is your end game, the pathway to these benefits is the customer experience.
CRM usage helps you to ensure that every customer who comes through your doorway is treated fairly and equitably, and as the most important person to grace your establishment. The personalised, customisable nature of CRM usage gives you every tool you need to ensure a superior customer experience.
It integrates seamlessly into your existing tech stack
CRM usage isn't just about adaptability and personalisation for the customer. It should also make your life easier. And it does. High-quality CRM platforms will integrate seamlessly into your existing tech stack, providing increased operational mobility for your venue.
Unsure where to start with CRM integration? Let Mr Yum help. Contact us today to see how our solutions can transform your customer experience.