Tips to Build Customer Loyalty for Your Restaurant

Have you ever tackled restaurant reputation management before?

Medialabs

If your answer is yes, you would stand by me when I say that the task is complex but not impossible!

The rise of mobile technology and social media, and the practice of leveraging them to influence purchasing decisions in restaurant reputation management, have become widespread today. Irrespective of the fact whether your restaurant is present in one or multiple locations, its growth is highly dependent on a hale and hearty brand strategy.

So how do we start?

Believe it or not, the competition among restaurants has become more aggressive than ever before. Staying in this business would require you to put out a few fires ever now and then.

Clearly, several areas of restaurant operations are not data-centric any longer. Nevertheless, a revenue manager’s inputs are always indispensable, since many of these areas are direct guest touchpoints. Yet, hotels hesitate to introduce new technologies and ways to contact with guests. The ability to connect with them via a mobile phone, especially considering daily use of smartphones should not be underestimated. That’s where you should begin.

A Trip Barometer report from TripAdvisor, captured from data via a survey of thousands of hotels around the world, found that ensuring how a property’s online presence is managed is likely to receive the most injection of financial support this year, with online reviews considered the most important area of a business.

According to Tnooz, coming behind online reputation management in the five biggest increases in investment by hotels, is likely to be:

  • Small scale renovations — 53%
  • Marketing/advertising — 51%
  • Traffic acquisition (SEO/SEM) — 50%
  • Staff training — 47%

“Our second major project of 2016 is Facebook for Customer Service. Facebook has recently upgraded its Pages, providing a business with the ability to engage customers on its platform. More than 50 million businesses use Facebook; most of which should leverage the platform for customer service and support.” — This was published in a Gartner report only recently.

Industry pundits say that brand loyalists for your restaurant are driven by emotion and function. When you are looking at reputation management for your restaurant, there are three ways to do it in order to leverage emotion and function:

  • Building — If you are an established name, you can simply work on your existing messaging and branding.
  • Maintenance — If you are blessed with an established reputation, your goal is to keep, or maintain the same.
  • Recovery — If your reputation has taken a hit, employ this strategy to recover. Good marketing and self-promotion should help you to recover.
Image Credit: Reputation Defender

How can your restaurant establish it’s online reputation and build brand loyalty?

It is always best to start the process online. The Internet is where all the reviews and ratings are posted and you can bank on it.

Below enlisted are five simple ways to build your restaurant’s online reputation:

  1. Blog — Have a blog and update it regularly with relevant articles about what you do.
  2. Get listed in directories — Have your site listed to drive traffic so that reputation management techniques can take over later.
  3. Encourage reviews — Reviews are important. A study by Zendesk revealed, “88% of consumers say purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews.”
  4. Gain publicity — Establish a reputation easily by working on web advertising and promotion plans.
  5. Go social — Have an active social media page so that you can be found easily by brand loyalists.

Remember, by using an automated restaurant online reputation management solution, you can achieve all this and much more in very little time. On the other hand, automating time-consuming, as well as vital processes in your restaurants, will give you ample time to pay attention to little details as well as tweak your strategy to achieve customer loyalty, and ultimately success in the long run.