It wasn’t too long ago that a restaurant’s business and customer information lived in on-premise servers, on desktop hard drives, or even on paper filed away somewhere. This made it challenging, if not impossible, to make sense of data on the whole—to get a unified view of any business driver, let alone an individual customer and what makes them “tick.” Data, unfortunately, wasn’t as powerful as it could be—or soon would be—for brands.
Data In the Cloud: All Together Now!
Fast-forward to when cloud-based software hit the scene. Suddenly everything changed, at least from a data perspective. Functionality that was once so hard to come by and so potentially cost-prohibitive became available to even the smallest organizations. Businesses began replacing their disparate legacy systems and software with cloud-based alternatives—or simply started “fresh” with web-based tools and apps that make managing data and customer relationships easier and more convenient.
Let’s take a closer look at what cloud-based marketing software has done to supercharge data for restaurants. By bringing customer data together into one unified view—your restaurant can uncover insights and jump on opportunities that your less-informed competitors are only dreaming about.
Data Helps Improve Customer Experience
Simply put, your data is critical to helping organizational decision-makers create a winning customer experience and deliver on ever-rising expectations—more important than ever in today’s competitive hospitality industry. But this doesn’t mean that collecting, managing, or taking action on your data is necessarily easy. Not without the right tools, anyway.
Reporting on the challenges companies face when attempting to unlock the ROI of their customer journey, Verndale’s The State of Customer Experience in 2018 says data is one of the key areas they need help with—especially as it relates to getting real-time access to customer data, handling a greater volume of customer data and analyzing customer data once they have it.
If your store or restaurant is generating a lot of data, or has the potential to generate a lot of data, now is the time to put the systems in place to capture it, analyze it and put it into action improving your guest experiences. And, of course, your goal is to making those experiences better than the rest—to redefine what’s “best.”
Consider Your Existing Tech Stack
You may have an email provider, CRM system, online ordering system, mobile app, or even a loyalty program—or some combination of these. They may even be cloud-based, considering how some of these solutions are so new to the marketplace. But does your data from these solutions live in separate containers? Your email software might sync up with your CRM system, and your mobile app and online ordering system might share data, but…does all of the data funnel into one place?
If it doesn’t (at least not yet), you already know that having multiple, disparate systems limits your ability to make the most of your data. Not only does the state of disconnected affairs have the potential to confuse marketers as they try to piece it all together, as data can get lost (or get lost in translation), but there are powerful insights in that dada that most marketers aren’t tapping into. When you consider the lost opportunities—opportunities your competitors could seize and profit from first, it makes taking the time to find the right technology vendor worth it.
Thanks to the extremely flexible underlying architecture of cloud-based software, it’s generally easy to integrate systems—to get multiple pieces of software to “play nice” and work together—without significant custom programming or extensive configuring.
Ready to Start Making a Difference?
When you take advantage of powerful integration capabilities, the customer “story” told through your data begins to come to life. Each layer of data adds a new dimension to the picture you’re creating, so every data source makes a difference, bringing you that much closer to a more holistic, 360-degree view of each individual customer. And it’s this view of the customer that informs the most effective, ROI-driving marketing initiatives. That’s because you’ll have all of the insights you need to:
- Uncover customer preferences, from what they order and at which locations to whether or not they place online orders and how much they spend.
- Develop effective marketing offers that are likely to resonate with them and drive action (e.g. sales and brand engagement).
- Deliver personalized marketing campaigns that connect with them “where they’re at” and when they’re most likely to engage.
- Improve your speed and real-time interactions with customers, boosting sales and loyalty and creating a better experience.
And what’s more, you’ll be able to automate virtually all of these processes and watch the results unfold. Your customers expect more from their favorite brands, and the companies that provide an exceptional experience—through each and every interaction—are more likely to win their loyalty and dollars. And isn’t that the difference you’re trying to make?
To learn more about creating loyal customers through valuable experiences, download our free whitepaper.