We concentrate on our restaurant loyalty program and the activities we can do to drive loyalty, but what if we think of things in our business that drive disloyalty? I know that sounds counter intuitive from a marketer and operator whose passion is focused on driving loyalty through marketing, operations and rewarding customers for returning; but I’m also a consumer and starting to think of the establishments I just will not visit because they just make things too difficult. If they are not convenient or easy, is it worth my time and my business?
A recent publication by CEB revealed the critical role of human effort and the component of the service interaction with respect to loyalty/disloyalty. They found some of the drivers of disloyalty stem from the need for repeat interaction to solve challenges, providing generic service, having to repeat information, and the perception of difficulty to get a solution. This made me think: what an interesting way to look at driving loyalty.
We work on providing great experiences through our service, food and atmosphere but are we concentrating on making it easy and convenient for customers? I started to think of our operations, and whether or not it is easy for customers.
Here’s a list of questions you may want to ask yourself to ensure ease and convenience is top of mind:
Physical Ease: How easy is it for your customer to find parking? Your front door, is it easy to open? Can people come in/out easily? If you have a queue, are you managing it to keep traffic flowing in and out? Is your sidewalk free of debris (including snow/ice)?
Menu and Ordering: Are your menus easy to read? Is the font type and layout acceptable for all eye sights? If you have a to-go process, how easy is it for your customers to call in, order online and pick up? Can I eliminate ingredients or add to something easily?
Payment: What is your payment process? Is it easy for the customer? Can any staff member pick up the check and process it, or only the server? What would be seamless for the customer?
When you look at your operation with just a slightly different lens you may find at that your processes or layout is creating work or hassles for the customer. In other words, are you inadvertently creating disloyalty?
Contact us to learn more about our restaurant loyalty program and loyalty solutions for your restaurant.