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How Taco Bell is Satisfying Customer Cravings With More Than Just Food

From the drive-thru to the app, to a new subscription service, understanding the customers' wants and needs is the first step to making their experience better all around.

Photo by Daniel Mathew on Unsplash

Humans have needs, and cravings, and desires. Sometimes, they all align — like when my need for food matches my desire and craving for a spicy burrito. In business, you have to be in tune to your customers' needs, cravings, and desires, and meet them as much as possible. These days, across the board but especially in the QSR space, the consumers are craving better loyalty programs and more personalized experiences in every interaction with a brand. Zip Allen recognizes that, and as the Chief Digital Officer for Taco Bell, she’s satisfying those cravings.

And what exactly does the customer crave these days when it comes to a customer experience?

“To me, the perfect customer experience is a customer experience that is unique and tailored to every individual user, and to every individual customer in the relationship that they have with the brand,” Allen says. “Being able to meet them where they are, however and wherever they want to interact with you. So I think that loyalty is like the thread that goes through that. It’s not just about a program. It’s about making sure that the customer feels appreciated, understood, and known by the brand, no matter where they interact.”

Loyalty programs aren’t new, though. So what’s the way to create something that is unique and truly customized? The answer is apparently pretty simple.

“It turns out the way that you customize a restaurant experience is digital,” Allen says.

As a result, Taco Bell has leaned heavily into the digital experience and creating unique opportunities for customers to engage with the brand.

“At the end of the day, it is about, what are the technologies, what are the connection points that we need to have in place to really, going back to that customer journey, connect all the dots for the customer, so that they feel understood, appreciated, and in charge of their experience in every step of the journey?” Allen says.

According to Allen, the customer wants to have spoken loud and clear about what they want and how they want to feel appreciated. And even though it may seem out of the ordinary or like a crazy idea, Allen says her team knew that creating a subscription taco service — the Taco Lovers Pass — was the way to meet the needs of customers today.

“In our lives, subscriptions have become just part of the way that we shop, in almost every other category,” Allen said. “So we started with asking ourselves, why couldn’t you do a subscription for tacos? I mean, you have a subscription for Spotify, you have a subscription for Netflix, Hulu, whatever. Why not?”

To hear more about how Allen and her team rolled out the Taco Lovers Pass and what other ways they are personalizing the customer experience, tune into Up Next in Commerce.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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