The growing popularity of Chatbots in the Restaurant industry can be attributed to the wide array of services for which they can be put to use. Popular chains like Burger King and Taco Bell are already leveraging their restaurant’s chatbot for everything from engaging with their customers to simplifying delivery and takeaway. 

Here’s how you can use your restaurant’s chatbot in every stage of the customer journey from awareness to advocacy

Awareness Stage

With the proliferation of messaging apps and the increasing amount of time people are spending on these apps, chatbot is a perfect medium to reach out to your customers.  You can employ this pioneering technology to grab your customers attention and let them know that you are available to assist.

Your restaurant’s chatbot can be programmed to engage customers visiting your website or social media pages, ask questions and guide them in the right direction, share menus, pricing, and collect their email ids.  Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to create a better user experience.

Engagement Stage

1. Real-Time Response to Customer Queries

Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to boost customer engagement. To give you an idea of how this works let’s say a customer stops by your website or social media page and inquires about store timings via a contact form or direct message. Even if your marketing team is very prompt they would take somewhere between 15 minutes to a few hours to respond to the message (assuming you don’t have a dedicated person just to respond to such queries). Would the customer linger for that amount of time waiting for a response? No! They will easily navigate to some other restaurant. With a chatbot in place, you can significantly decrease the average time taken to respond to such messages. An engaged customer is much more likely to buy from you.

2. On-Demand Assistance 

Customers no longer have to scan your entire website to find the information they are looking for. Your chatbot can provide quick, precise responses and helpful suggestions to guide them in the right direction.

3. Personalized Communication and Advertisements

Chatbots can be employed to nurture potential customers and persuade them to visit or order from your restaurant. To show you what I mean, let’s suppose that during a conversation with a chatbot, a customer checks out the kids’ meals options on your menu. Now every time you run offers or deals on the kid’s meal, you can send them out to this particular customer. He/she would be more likely to respond to these personalized offers as this is something they have already expressed an interest in.

4. After Hours Service

Your customers can get the information they are looking for via your restaurant’s chatbot even when your business is closed.

5. Lead Generation 

You can use Chatbots to nurture prospects and gathers email addresses of potential customers, which can be used for your future marketing campaigns.

Acquisition Stage

1. Promote Offers, Discounts and Limited Time Deals

Chatbots can be employed to send out regular marketing communication to all customers who have engaged with your chatbot at any time. They can even tap into your email list and entice your existing customers with new deals and offers.

2. Increase Sales Through Improved Order Efficiency

  • Take Online Orders

    A chatbot, deployed on your website, app, social media – Facebook, Twitter, can interact with your customers and take online orders with 100% accuracy. Further, if your restaurant’s chatbot is integrated with your POS systems, your customers can place the order and pay through the same interface.

  • Easier Delivery & Takeaway

    You can reduce the time and effort it takes for a customer to place an online order. In fact, customers can order directly from your  Facebook or on your website’s chat window. Domino’s Anywhere initiative allows customers to order a pizza by Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Echo, smart TV, smartwatch, just by texting an emoji. I cannot imagine a more engaging and convenient way to order a pizza on the go!

  • Reduce Wait Times by Pre-Booking Orders

    Customers can place their order via your chatbot much before they arrive at your restaurant, significantly cutting down on wait times.

  • Allow Customers to Make Reservations

    Your restaurant’s chatbot can also be put into service to take reservations and book tables.

3. Food Recommendations

Chatbots offer a great opportunity to cross-sell or upsell menu items. Let’s say, some customer orders grilled steaks from your menu, your chatbot could recommend the Grilled Zucchini Salad or Red Wine that go great with his order. Some other examples could be of first-time customers looking for gluten-free options on your menu or somebody trying to find vegan options.

4. Round the Clock Customer Support

Providing around the clock customer support requires a huge investment in terms of time and resources. By automating conversations you could save time and money that can then be allocated to other efforts.

5. Consistent Communication

Most customers find it very frustrating when they have to provide an update of past interactions to every service rep they interact with. A chatbot helps you to provide a consistent experience to your customers by automatically updating previous chat histories of customers.

Loyalty Stage

1. Send Personalized Offers and Recommendation to Regular Customers

Chatbots for restaurants can bring back regular customers and boost long term loyalty by sending out automated deals and offers in accordance with a customer’s purchase history.

2. Solicit Feedback and Reviews

Most customers prefer to go through review sites before selecting a restaurant to eat out. Chatbots can be employed to send automated reminders to customers to leave their feedback on popular sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Many restaurants are using this technology to collect Feedback from their customers. This helps them to discover areas where they can improve, with the end goal of providing better customer services.

3. Promote your Loyalty Program 

You can use your restaurant’s chatbot to encourage your regular customers to join your loyalty program. It is also a perfect medium to send out exclusive deals to loyalty members or to facilitate redemption of loyalty rewards.

Advocacy Stage

1. Promote your Advocacy Program

Chatbots can target long term loyalty members and encourage them to join your restaurant’s advocacy program

2. Offer Incentives to Advocate your Restaurant

Asking customers to share their experience at your restaurant by a social share button embedded on your chatbot is a great way to attract attention towards your brand.

 

Those were some of the ways in which we at mKonnekt are employing chatbots for our restaurant clients.  We would love to hear how you are using this wonderful technology for your business.