4 ways to make your restaurant customers happy with SMS

OpenMarket – December 12, 2017

Customer service is the name of the game for the hospitality industry. In the past, this meant good food, fast service, nice décor, and friendly wait staff. But now that most restaurants offer easy home delivery, that experience extends to wherever your customer is. They might be on the couch watching re-runs of Survivor and ordering a pizza, or grabbing dinner for the family on their way home from work. Their experience with your brand is now all about fast, convenient communication.

To keep customers coming back for more, you must be readily available, responsive and above all, empathetic. Understanding what they need from you and delivering it before they ask is the key to a memorable moment of interaction.

Here are four ways you can use SMS to impress your customers

1 – Order confirmations

When a customer hands over their credit card details and makes an order, the first thing they want to know is that you’ve received it. Don’t leave them in the dark. An SMS confirmation provides peace of mind as well as an easy mechanism for checking order numbers or expected delivery times. Added bonus? It makes you look good. An immediate confirmation shows you’re on top of things and that you’re happy to communicate with customers using the device they already have in hand and the communication channel they prefer. You can also use this moment to further engage customers and differentiate yourself from other brands. Consider something out of the ordinary like sending them a link to a video of their order being carefully prepared.

2 – Delivery notifications

We all know that the time from order to arrival can seem endless when your stomach’s grumbling or you have hungry kids pestering you about when dinner will be ready. Once the food is on its way, send a delivery notification to let your customer know. This saves them having to call and check on arrival time. Plus, if a customer knows when their food is showing up, they’ll likely be ready to answer the door, saving your driver unnecessary hassle. It’s particularly important to send an alert if there’s an unexpected delay. Maybe the driver is stuck in traffic or you’ve been inundated with orders and the delivery will take longer than normal. A quick text with a small discount code for their next order will turn a frustrated customer into a happy one again.

3 – Special offers

For loyal customers who’ve opted to receive text notifications, SMS is the best way to engage them with special offers like competitions or coupons. Research shows that mobile offers are redeemed 10 times more than print offers because it’s so easy to do. Rather than having to bring a print-out to the restaurant or trawl through piles of unopened emails to find a voucher, an SMS means customers can easily copy and paste a coupon code, show you their phone screen in-store or just click on a link.

4 – Customer feedback

Getting feedback is a great way to improve your service offering. But getting responses can be near-impossible. Emails are ignored, and paper forms are more likely to be scribbled on than filled out and submitted. Make it easy with an SMS survey after a customer interacts with you. This format improved response rates by 140 per cent for one of our clients.  You can automate a flow of short format questions that only need a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response, or use a simple 1-5 rating system. Immediately sending the survey via text helps you get a more accurate picture, because the experience is fresh in their mind. It also means faster responses, which is important if you want to implement a change quickly or follow-up on negative feedback (before they have a chance to post an angry Twitter rant).

SMS messages are the ideal way to get in touch and show empathy towards your customers quickly and easily. While emails are buried among unopened newsletters, and social media posts are sandwiched between competing brand offers and cat memes, mobile messages are direct, personal and simple to engage with.

OpenMarket is working with hospitality brands like PizzaExpress India to transform the customer experience and improve engagement with mobile messaging. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business.

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