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How to Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant?

Are you looking for a place to eat or a plumber maybe? In the good old days, you may have asked your neighbors or friends for recommendations! Now, you have a personal assistant – “Google” at your fingertips. Each day millions of people are searching on Google for places to eat, nearby salons, plumbers and every other imaginable thing. Google provides businesses a great opportunity to meet their target audience right where they are looking for them- A Google My Business Listing.

Google My Business is completely free to you. It can help boost the local SEO of your website by showing it in local searches. If you have not claimed and optimized your Google My Business listing yet, you are missing out on substantial traffic.

In this article, we will show you how to create and Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant to reach more customers.

Creating  a Google My Business Listing

First off, search for your Business on Google to ensure that it is not already listed on GMB. If your business has been around for a while, chances are that it is already listed on GMB and you just need to claim it. On the other hand, if you’ve used Google tools such as Google Places or Google+ Pages in the past, you would have automatically upgraded to Google My Business.

To claim your business, head over to https://business.google.com/create and enter your Business Name. If the listing has already been created, GMB will show you the following message, you can use any of the options listed here to claim your Business.

Once successfully claimed, you can start optimizing and managing your GMB page.

If you do not already have a GMB listing you would need to Create one

Step 1: Head over to google.com/business, it will prompt you to log in to your google account. Login with your Business account. Once you have logged in, select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner

Step 2: Enter your business name.

Creating your Google My Business Listing

Step 3: Business address

Selecting the location- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Step 4: Select Delivery Area

If you deliver your goods and services to your customers’ locations, check the box “Yes, I also serve them outside my location.” You can also add the delivery area.

Selecting Service Area- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Step 6: Choose your business category. 

Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.

Ways to Verify your Business- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Step 8: Choose a verification option.

Verifying your Business- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

How to Verify Your Business on Google

There are several ways to verify your GMB listing:

  • By postcard
  • By phone
  • By email
  • Instant verification
  • Bulk verification

Postcard Verification

If you are opting for this method make sure your business address is correct. Do not make any changes in the business name or address before you receive your code as that could impede the verification process. The postcard should normally reach you in five days, however, if your postcard does not reach you, you can request a new code by signing in to Google My Business and clicking on “Request another code” Once you receive the code, login to GMB and select the listing you want to verify and enter the code to verify your account.

Phone verification

Google allows certain businesses to verify their location by phone. This option will appear for you only if you are eligible. Ensure that you have entered the correct phone number before you select this option. Enter the verification code received via text message to verify your account. 

Email verification

You can also choose to “Verify by email.” In this case, google sends a verification email to your registered email id. All you need to do is click the verification button in the email.

Instant verification

If your business has already been verified with Google Search Console, Google will instantly verify your GMB listing.

Bulk verification

If you own more than 10 locations for the same business you might be eligible for bulk verification. Learn more about Bulk Verification.

Once your GMB page has been verified you can start optimizing your profile. Navigate to the left-hand menu and click on Info. Here you can edit the information under each heading/subheading by clicking on the pencil icon

Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

1. Ensure your Business information is accurate and up-to-date

  •  Name
  • Address including Pincode
  • Service Areas: Let your customers know whether you provide delivery or other services. In this section, you can also provide information regarding the distance or area in which you provide these services. 
  • Provide Accurate Business Operating Hours: Ensure that you update this info on a regular basis- to keep your customers up-to-date on holidays any other changes in operating hours.
Updating NAP Info - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
  • Phone Number: (Preferably a Local Number)
  • Website: In addition to your website, restaurants can also provide the links to their Menu, Order ahead or reservation pages.
  • Menu/Services: GMB provides the option of adding your menu/services to your GMB listing. It allows you to list out your menu/services so that your customers can see what your business has to offer directly on Google without having to navigate to your website. This feature is only available for food and drink, health, beauty, and other services businesses that don’t have a third-party “menu” link. 
NAP Info - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
  • Attributes:  In this section, you can provide detailed information about the services available at your business. If you are a restaurant, you can provide information about the various amenities that your restaurant provides including dining options, acceptable modes of payment, other things which customers can expect at your restaurants such as kids menu, salad bar, Hallal food, and the like. 
Business Info - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
  • Description – add a short description of your business.

The information that you provide on your GMB page should be consistent with that on your website. You can edit and update this information at any time by logging into your GMB account and navigating to the Info tab.

2. Add Photos and Videos

According to Google, Businesses with photos receive 35 percent more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos. Photos help you to showcase the best of your business- it gives potential customers a vivid idea of what to expect from your business. Remember the instances, when you are searching for a new place to eat on Google, don’t you like take a look at the interiors of the restaurant to get a better idea of what to expect in terms ambiance or the photos of food to make a fair estimate of the kind of food to expect. Your customers looking for the same.

Good pictures can make or break your business. GMB allows you to upload different kinds of photos of your business to help increase the reach and visibility of your business and is one of the essential steps to optimize Google My Business Listing for your restaurant.

Logo image: Your logo is an important part of your brand identity. Google recommends that you upload your brand’s logo on your GMB listing.

Cover photo: Your cover photo could be anything that fosters your brand image, from a picture of your products to the interiors of your establishment, you could even update your cover image from time to time to showcase the latest offers and deals.

Additional photos: Google allows you to upload additional Pictures of your Business. This could include pictures of your products or interiors and exteriors of your shop or business place.

Videos: You can also add short videos up to 30 seconds. 

All information that you have updated on your page is verified by Google and may take up to 3 days to be published. Your GMB listing is now complete and ready for the world.

Monitor Regularly

However, your task is not complete, you must realize that anyone can suggest a change or edit to your business listing. Anyone who searches for your business/or business like yours online can see the “suggest an edit” option marked in the picture below.

Monitoring Regularly - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

By clicking on this option they can edit any business information they want to. And if you do not monitor your page regularly, these changes can go live without your approval. When these changes are made, Google sends out emails to the people managing your Google My Business account, but most account managers claim that they never receive notifications about changes to their listing. So, how do you monitor these– Log in to your  GMB page. On the left-hand menu, navigate to manage locations listed towards the bottom. When you click on it- you will be lead to the page below.

Managing Locations - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Click on review updates to see the updates or edits made to your page.

Business information - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

The changes are highlighted in red- You can confirm these or edit them from here.

Also, it’s important to note that Google crowdsources information about your business by allowing people to answer questions. They can simply click on the “Know this place – answer quick questions” To answer these.

GMB listing - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Now, it is all good if a genuine customer answers these questions, but there have been instances when people with malicious intent or your competitor may choose to provide incorrect information that may harm your business.  Google, nevertheless, encourages this type of user-generated content as they feel this helps them in providing them a more complete business profile. The only way to regulate these unauthorized changes is to log in to your GMB page regularly and keep an eye on these changes.

Some Additional Features You Should be Using

a. Messaging

Your GMB page provides a great way to connect directly with people interested in your business via Messaging.  Your customers can send direct messages to your business via this platform, you can respond to their queries and send them updates on offers and deals. Currently, this service is only available in select countries to only certain types of businesses. 

To activate this download the GMB app  and open it

If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.

  1. Tap Customers.
  2. Tap Message- Tap Turn on to activate.

Once activated – you can see all messages under Customers > Messages 

For more information on this click here.

b. Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers is another great feature on your GMB listing. Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business and you can answer those questions, but so can any other person. Chances are that when the answers are provided by a customer or any other person, the information may be incorrect or incomplete. But ironically, most of these questions are being answered by customers rather than business owners. The simple reason for this is that business owners are unaware that these questions being asked about their establishment. There are no notifications on your Google My Business dashboard or the GMB app letting you know that there are new questions to be answered. However, there are a few ways to find these questions:

  • Search for your business on a desktop/ laptop and see if there are new questions. 
  • Install Google Maps on your phone, log in and check for questions/notifications.
  • Search for your business on a mobile browser and check if you have new questions that need to be answered.
QnA - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
Qn A

A great way to use this feature is to prepare a list of FAQs about your business and add them to your GMB listing- this would help in providing all essential and correct information about your business to your customers.

P.S. Google has recently started sending out email notifications letting you know that a new question has been asked. 

c. Booking Button Feature

Google’s Booking button feature can help your customers book an appointment with your business directly from your Google My Business listing. To enable the booking button, choose and sign up with one of their scheduling providers. You can receive bookings through Google once your scheduling account is linked to your Google My Business account. (This might take a week after you sign-up).

If you already use a scheduling provider, the booking button is automatically updated on your GMB listing. You can see your booking history with that provider under the bookings tab in your Google My Business account.

Another area of concern for businesses is that sometimes a booking or ordering ling appear automatically on their GMB listing in Google search and Google Maps. For instance, if you are a restaurant owner- you would suddenly see a Doordash – link on your profile which you have not added- Here’s what Google has to say about these links:

Why some links appear automatically

Booking Button- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

d. Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews

Your customers can leave reviews for your business on Google. These appear on your GMB page under the reviews tab. These reviews also appear on the knowledge panel when a customer searches for your business on google or google maps. Most people searching for your business online would go through these reviews before making a decision to purchase from you. So it becomes important to respond to both positive and negative reviews to engage your customers and show them that you value their feedback.

Google Reviews- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews for your business.

Answering Reviews- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

e. GMB posts

Google provides you a great opportunity to update your customers with the latest and the greatest at your establishment via GMB posts. Your customers can view your latest posts on the knowledge panel when they search for your business on google. You can create offers, events or general posts showcasing your products.

GMB posts- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
Example GMB posts- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Wrap Up

Here we have rounded up some of the interesting features available to you on your GMB page and strategies to optimize Google My Business Listing for your restaurant you make the most of them.

Are Third-Party Delivery Services Good for your Restaurant?

In an era where convenience takes precedence overall, more and more customers are choosing to order food from restaurants that offer delivery. To keep up with customer expectations, restaurants are under pressure to provide a seamless delivery experience.

However, the cost associated with setting up in-house delivery is significant. On the other hand, third-party delivery services, which seem like the smart choice in this scenario, are extracting hefty commissions. Most restaurant owners are in a  dilemma over the in-house versus third-party delivery debate. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of both these options to help you choose better.

In-House Delivery

In-house delivery requires restaurants to hire a dedicated delivery staff and preferably their own fleet of vehicles to deliver food to customers.

Pros

a. Control over the Customer Experience

Setting up your own delivery services allows you to control the entire delivery experience, including the timeline or any additional benefits you may want to offer to your customers.

b. Customer Engagement:

By offering in-house delivery, you have a greater opportunity to engage directly with your customers and immediately resolve any issues that may crop up in the delivery process.

c. Customer Data:

If your customers are placing their orders directly through your website or app, you have access to all relevant data for these customers, which helps you to strategize and build on your future marketing plans.

d. Builds Brand loyalty:

When a customer uses your website or app to order, the customers are engaging directly with your brand. This helps you to build brand loyalty in the long run.

Cons

a. High Costs:

The costs required to set up and maintain your own delivery fleet can be quite high.

b. Logistical Concerns:

Offering a smooth in-house delivery experience requires a lot of effort in terms of people, time, and resources, and management of the delivery drivers.

c. Responsibility:

If anything goes wrong with the delivery experience, such as a delay in delivery orders or food not reaching the customers in the right state- your brand is directly affected, there can be no blame-shifting in this case.

Third-Party Delivery

As an alternative, you could outsource the entire delivery service to another company. You can tie up with companies like GrubHub, Doordash, and Ubereats to take care of processing orders and delivering food to customers on behalf of your restaurant.

With 60 percent of U.S. consumers ordering delivery or takeout once a week, the third-party delivery market is expected to grow to a value of $24.5 billion by 2022.

Pros

a. Convenience:

Opting for third-party delivery services is definitely the more convenient way of delivering food to your customers as it outsources the entire gamut of logistical concerns related to processing orders and delivering food on time to another company.

b. New Customers

57 percent of millennials claim that they prefer food to be delivered by restaurants so they can stay home to watch movies and TV shows. If you are not offering delivery, you are missing out on these customers.

By tying up with the third-party delivery services you gain access to a much wider audience native to these apps. Many customers who may have previously shied away from ordering from your restaurant due to the nonavailability of delivery services would now be ready to order from you. In many cases, customers who get a taste of your food through these online orders may choose to visit your location at a later stage.

c. Cut Down on Costs

By opting for a third-party delivery service, you can save a significant amount of costs required for setting up and maintenance of the delivery fleet.

d. Increase in Sales

60 percent of restaurant owners claim that offering delivery services has generated incremental sales. Offering your menu on these platforms introduces your brand to a wider set of audience, thereby increasing the average number of online orders your restaurant receives.

e. Better Allocation of Resources

Once you have outsourced delivery, you have more time and resources on your hands to focus on the quality of food and services that you bring to the table. 

f. Marketing and Advertising

Most third-party delivery companies provide advertising and marketing for restaurants on their app for an additional cost. You no longer have to worry about devising strategies to reach new customers, as these services take care of the same.

Cons

a. Loss of Control Over Customer Experience

By opting to outsource deliveries to a third-party, you lose control over several aspects of the customer experience. Factors such as traffic, an excessive number of orders, the state in which the food is delivered can affect your brand reputation.

Several restaurants have complained of untrained delivery staff hired by third-party delivery services. There have been several reported incidents of delivery drivers disrupting the normal functioning of the restaurants during pick-ups, or sour behavior with the customers. 

b. Declining Revenues

In the long run, many restaurants claim that in spite of the increase in the number of online orders received per month, they are witnessing a decline in their profits due to the high margin charged by these services on every order placed through their app.

Your restaurant may not be equipped to handle the increased number of orders that you are likely to receive via these apps. To meet the demand and to ensure the smooth operation of your in-store services, you may have to handle additional staff. There are several such administrative costs that may arise in the long run, which impinge on your margins.

c. A Decline in Brand loyalty

When a customer orders from your restaurant via these apps, there is no direct engagement between these customers and your restaurant.  So, effectively customers who are ordering from your restaurant via the app become customers of the app or the service. They owe their loyalty to the app instead of your restaurant. According to a survey, 43 percent of restaurant professionals said they believe third-party apps hamper the direct relationship between a restaurant and its customers. 

d. Loss of Customer Data

Most third-party delivery services in the restaurant industry are not sharing customer data with the restaurants. Restaurants no longer have any means to reach these customers directly or build on their marketing strategies to retain these customers in the future.

e. Vulnerable to Competition

Once you make your restaurant available on these apps, your brand is competing with all the restaurants in the vicinity that offer similar food. So a customer will choose to order from you only if you are at the top of your game.

Further, your restaurant may not appear at the top of search results on third-party apps, in spite of having higher ratings, as ranking on these apps is also determined by the amount you are paying to these services.

Most of the third-party delivery services are big companies with huge marketing budgets. In order to promote their app, they are offering huge offers and discounts on orders placed through their app. Individual restaurants may not be able to compete with these offers, further discouraging customers to order directly from them. Many restaurant owners feel it’s similar to losing your customers to the app.

Wrap-up

When faced with the question of whether to opt for a third-party delivery company or set up your own,  you must consider all the above-mentioned factors before deciding what would work best for you. A detailed cost-benefit analysis with a long term perspective- will help you make a better decision.

Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

Email marketing refers to sending out emails to promote your business. Restaurant Email marketing has been around for quite some time and is being successfully used by businesses to send updates about the brand, dole out promotions, offer coupons, and remain in touch with new and existing customers.

Some marketers erroneously believe that restaurant email marketing has lost its relevance with the introduction of new mediums to reach out to the customers. However, the fact remains that email marketing has evolved and remains an incredibly important marketing tool, and having clearly email marketing strategies for your restaurant can help you get better returns from your campaigns.

Here are some interesting stats to turn you into an email marketing enthusiast:

  • At least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.
  • Data from Marketing Sherpa says that 72 percent of consumers prefer email as their source of business communication.
  • The average spend of customers buying products marketed through email is  138% more than those who do not receive email offers.
  • According to Optinmonster, only  15% of the marketing budget spent on email marketing, yields an ROI that is 28% higher than digital marketing.

Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

Emails are a great medium to reach out and stay in constant contact with your customers. In fact, there are numerous creative ways in which you can use emails to send out the right marketing message to your restaurant’s customers. Here we have listed a few of those.

1. Get the Word Out

You are pretty excited about the new dish that you have just introduced to your menu. Now, you are dying to know how your customers receive this new introduction. Sending them an introductory offer to try the new dish through an email can help you get the word out.  Sending exclusive invites to longtime patrons makes them feel like privileged insiders and helps in building long-term bonds.

Pizza hut Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

2. Promote Offers/Special Days

Most restaurants have offers or deals marking special days or holidays. Perhaps, you have a planned a special for Fathers on the occasion of Father’s day or you are running deals on each day of the Pizza Month in October. You could send updates on these offers and promotions to your customers.

A monthly newsletter is a great way of letting your customers know about all the offers they can avail of in any given month. A follow-up email just a few days prior to the event or promotion can be sent out as a reminder to help them make the most of the offer.

BackYard Burgers Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

3. Fundraisers

Many restaurants regularly host fundraisers on behalf of local organizations as a part of their community-building initiative. Sharing the details of such events with your regular customers can help you to increase participation in these events while sending out the message that you as a brand care for the community.
Chipotle Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

4. Behind the Scene Stories

Every communication that you send out to your customers does not necessarily need to sell a product. You can add value by sending out curated content- every once in a while. It could be a story from your restaurant- a gesture by a customer that touched your heart, or an account of how and where you source your raw materials, you can even share strategies that you follow at your restaurant to manage waste. In fact, you can share anything that you feel may be of interest to your customers.

5. Share a Recipe

Every once in a while, you can share the recipe of a popular dish on your menu. This is a great way to open a line of communication with your customers. You can invite your customers to pour suggestions on how they would modify the recipe if they were to prepare the same at home. You can even go ahead and share some of these interesting ideas on social media.

6. Promote Restaurant Services

There are so many services that your restaurant may be offering which your customers may or may not be aware of. You can create a series of emails to help them use these facilities better.

For instance, reservations- where and how they can reserve a table at your restaurant.

Online ordering- You maybe be taking orders on-call or orders placed on your website or you may have tied up with third-party online ordering services. Are your customers aware of all the ways in which they can place an order? Do they know how easy it is to pay for these orders? These are questions that you can deal with in these emails.

Delivery- In many cases, the customers are not aware that there favorite eating joint offers delivery, or how far do they offer delivery, what are the charges. An email listing out all the possible FAQs could be very helpful.

7. Promote your Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a great way to retain existing customers. The ground staff in your restaurant has very little opportunity to explain the nuances and benefits of the program to store visitors. Email provides you a great medium to send out details of the program to your customers from sign-up to reward redemption.

8. Send out Personalized Offers

Emails offer your endless opportunities to send out personalized offers to your customers. Personalized emails have a much higher conversion rate. You can segment customers based on 

  • Previous purchase history
  • Location
  • Kind of coupons they usually redeem
  • Offers that interest them most
  • Open Rate
  • Dormant/ Active Customers
  • Abandoned Carts

These are just a few examples. Depending on the nature of your restaurant and the kind of offer you have in mind you can segregate customers who you feel would be interested in the particular offer you are sending out.

Chipotle Personalized Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

9. Collect Feedback

You bring great food to the table, offer exceptional services and believe that are you are doing your best. But no successful business can do without customer feedback. Emails are a great way to collect feedback. You can ask for customers feedback on specific services like online orders, delivery or more general feedback about the food and services at your store.

10. Bday emails

Retaining your current customers is up to 7x cheaper than acquiring new ones. Did you know that Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails and on an average, they generate a 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails?

Running a birthday campaign can help you bolster engagement with your customers. You can plan and set up a campaign to collect birthdays by asking your customers to sign up on your website, or you can even embed a form on social media sites like Facebook to collect such data. Once you have collected this data, use it to set up an automated campaign through MailChimp or any other application to send out specials to your customers on their birthdays.

11. Retarget Website Visitors

You have invested a lot of effort and money in building a great website and prompting customers to visit your website or app. But are you following up with these visitors?

You may have data on what pages your customers are visiting where they are dropping off, but are you putting this data to use?

Adding a pop-up form to your website nudging customers to subscribe to your newsletter helps you keeping a track of these visitors and once you have the list, you can use it to market to these customers.

Wrap Up

Email Marketing is the fastest, easiest, and most inexpensive way to reach customers. We would love to know what strategies are you using to get more out of your Email Campaigns.

How to Set Up a Google Remarketing Campaign?

Google Remarketing or Retargeting refers to showing targeted ads to prospects who have visited your website. Let’s say a customer views a product on your website and then moves on to some other webpage. You can show him targeted ads for the products he checked on your website while he is browsing the web or watching YouTube videos nudging him to complete the purchase.

Google Remarketing Campaign have a  higher conversion rate as compared to normal display Ads as the prospects have already shown an interest in your products and services and are caught somewhere in the decision making cycle. Reaching out to them at this stage helps in keeping your brand on top of their minds propelling them to take action.

How Does Google Remarketing Work?

To get started with retargeting, you need to have a Google Ads account. If you don’t have one. Here’s how to create one.

  • Go to  www.ads.google.com
  • Sign in to your Google Account.
  • Select already experienced with Google advertising.
  • Select- Create an account without a Campaign.
  • Enter details and submit to set up your account.
Signing up on Google ads- Google Remarketing Campaign

If you are advertising on Google you may have an Ads account, then all you need to do is add a piece of Google remarketing code to your website. Once this code is added to your website, every prospect visiting your website gets added to your remarketing audiences through browser cookies.

Let’s say, you own an online store that sells rugs and carpets.  You might create a  remarketing audience based on people who checked out the pages listing handcrafted rugs. You can show these visitors highly targeted display ads for your hand-crafted rugs.

Google Ads Retargeting Options

  • Standard remarketing allows you to show ads to your past visitors as they browse websites and apps on the Google Display Network.
  • Dynamic remarketing allows you to show ads to past visitors that have viewed a specific product or service on your site.
  • Remarketing for mobile apps – If someone used your mobile app or mobile website, Google ads will let you show ads to them when they use other mobile apps or are browsing websites on their mobiles.
  • Remarketing lists for search ads allow you to target past visitors while they search on Google and Google’s Search partner sites.
  • Video Remarketing enables you to show ads to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel or other videos. You can show these ads on YouTube or through Display Network videos and websites.
  • Email list remarketing is also known as customer match. Google Ads allows you to upload an email list of your customers in order to show ads to them if they are signed in to Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube.
Before you set up your retargeting campaign, you need to install the retargeting code on your website and set up a retargeting audience. This can be done through
  1. Google Analytics
  2. within Google Ads.
Let us start by setting up the remarketing code through Google Analytics 

1. Set-Up Remarketing Codes within Google Analytics

If you have been using Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on your site, then you can use the same code for retargeting with slight modifications. If you are just starting out, here’s how to do it:

If you have a Google Analytics account, head over to Admin -> Property ->Property Info ->Tracking->Tracking Code.

Google Analytics- Set-Up Remarketing Codes within Google Analytics

a. Connecting Your Google Analytics Account to Your Google Ads Account.

  • Property Settings ->Product Linking ->Google ads linking
  • Select the relevant Google Ad account and Click Continue.
  • Complete Set-up and click on Link Accounts
Connecting Your Google Analytics Account to Your Google Ads Account.

b. Setting-up Retargeting Audiences In Google Analytics

Here’s how to set up remarketing audiences in Google Analytics:

  • Click on Admin -> Audience Definitions -> Audiences
  • When you enable remarketing by clicking on  “Next step”, Google Analytics automatically creates the first remarketing audience comprising of “All Users”.
  • Your first list of the remarketing audience is already created, now all you need to select the ad accounts with which you want to share this remarketing audience. Select the relevant Google Ads and Analytics account and click “Ok”.
Setting-up Retargeting Audiences In Google Analytics

Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences:

You can also create additional remarketing lists within Google Analytics including people who visited specific pages on your website or prospects who signed up for a newsletter or a special offer that you may be running.
  • Go back to Admin -> Audience Definitions -> Audiences 
  • Click on the Red “+New Audience” button
  • Select the relevant option and give your audience a name and hit Next.
  • Again as the last step share this audience with your linked Ad account.
Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences: 1
Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences:

You can also click on “Create New” to access the audience builder.  You can use this option to create custom audiences based on demographics, devices, behavior, traffic source, and more.

Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences- 3

Now, that you have set up your remarketing Audience list, you can set up your remarketing campaign in Google Ads. But, before that, we will show you how you can set up your remarketing code and audiences via Google Ads

2. Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads

  • Click on the tool icon in the upper right-hand side of the AdWords interface -> then click on “Audience Manager”
  • Click on “Audience sources” on the left-hand side and select the AdWords tag
Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads
Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads- Google ads

When you are setting up your Google Ads tag, you can customize the data collected depending on your industry.

Google Remarketing Campaign- Remarketing Tags
  • Select the relevant options. Hit save and continue.
  • Copy the Google Ads tag and paste it between <head></head> tags of every page of your website.

Once you have installed the remarketing pixel on your website, it starts tagging all visitors to your website. You can now start creating your remarketing audiences. However, it may take a few days for the audience to populate if you have just installed the code on your website.

a. Creating Remarketing Audience in Google Ads

Google Ads enable you to create remarketing audience from the following sources:

  • Website Visitors
  • App Users
  • Email lists
  • Youtube Users
  • Custom Combinations

 Let us begin by creating a remarketing audience from past website visitors

  • Click on the tool icon in the upper right-hand side of the Google Ads interface -> then click on “Audience Manager”
  • Click on the large “+” sign and select “Website visitors”
Setting up remarketing Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

Note: You don’t need to create an audience for “All visitors”. Google Ads will create this audience automatically.

  • Give your audience a name
  • Then specify the visitors you want to add to your remarketing audience by clicking on the drop-down menu adjacent to list members and selecting the relevant option.
Naming your Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

Below is an example of an audience that would include all users that visited URLs containing /menu/ and /order_confirmation/.

Selecting an Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

You can also create a remarketing audience of prospects who visited one page but did not visit another page. Say customers who checked out your menu but did not place an order.

Audience Types-Google Remarketing Campaign

The other parameter that you can control here is how long a customer remains on your list.

Audience Filters-Google Remarketing Campaign
a. Creating a  remarketing Audience from App Users
Creating a  remarketing Audience from App Users-Google Remarketing Campaign
b. Creating a  remarketing Audience from YouTube Users

To create a remarketing list of people who have interacted with your youtube channel, you have to connect your youtube account to Google Ads. If you haven’t done this before, GoogleAds will lead you through the setup when you click on this option.

Again you have a number of retargeting options to choose from. Select the one that meets your requirements and proceed.

Creating a  remarketing Audience from YouTube Users-Google Remarketing Campaign
5. Creating a  remarketing Audience from Customer match

You can create a remarketing list by uploading your own customer list. However, to use Customer Match, your account must meet certain criteria laid down by Google.

  • A good history of policy compliance.    
  • A good payment history.
  • At least 90 days of history in Google Ads.
  • More than USD 50,000 total lifetime spend. For advertisers whose accounts are managed in currencies other than USD, your spend amount will be converted to USD using the average monthly conversion rate for that currency.

Source: Google Ads

If you want to start using Customer Match and you meet the requirements above, you’ll need to contact your account manager to request access to Customer Match.

The process is pretty simple after that. Give your list a  name and upload the list of email addresses. Your list must have at least 1000 subscribers for this to work.

You can also create a remarketing audience by using custom combinations. We will cover that in another article.

The big question is whether you should be creating your audience in Google Ads or Google Analytics. Analytics offers a definite advantage as it enables you to create more targeted remarketing audiences such as audiences based on visit Duration, Browser, Country/Territory, City, and Goal Conversion. With Google Ads, on the other hand, you can only create audiences based on page visits.

Setting Up Your Google Remarketing Campaign

  • On the Google Ads interface, click on “Campaigns” and then click on the large blue “+” sign.
  • Select New Campaign
  • Then select the campaign goal 
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign

– Here we will show you how to set up a Display Ad keeping Website Traffic as our Goal.

Note: The parameters that you can control may vary with your chosen goal. So, the steps involved in creating a “website traffic” Ad may differ slightly from a campaign created with “Brand awareness and Reach” as a Goal.

  • Choose the Campaign type “Display Campaign”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Campaign types
  • Select a Campaign Subtype- We have selected “Standard Display Campaigns”
  • Click “Continue”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Campaign Subtypes
  • Name your Remarketing Campaign and select the locations and languages you want to target
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Language and location filters
  • Select Bid
  • Select “High-Quality Traffic” as your focus.
  • Choose to “Manually set bids”
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Bidding
  • Choose a daily budget for your remarketing campaign. It is best to start with a low budget and then increase it over time.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Budget
  • Name your ad group
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Naming Your ad Group
  • Select Audience
  • In the audiences section, click on browse and select “How they have interacted with your business (Remarketing and similar audiences)”
  • Click on website visitors and select from the list of your remarketing audiences. In this case, we chose “All Users”. Once you have selected your audiences, click “Done”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Selecting an audience
  • Skip the targeting expansion section as this refers to by targeting people outside of your remarketing audience.
  • In  Ad group bid Choose a cost per click bid for your remarketing campaign. Usually, a bid between $0.50 – $1.00 is a great starting point.
  • Click on “New Ad” to create ads for your ad group. 
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- audience
  • Add The Url of the page where you want to lead your customers.
  • Add an image and logo.
  • Keep your headline short and impressive.
  • Ensure that your description is crisp and concise.
  • Remember to check Preview before hitting publish.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Creating Your ad

Click “Create Campaign” when you are done.

Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert. So, if you have not already you must include retargeting ads in your marketing arsenal.

How to Create Retargeting Ads on Facebook?

What are Retargeting Ads on Facebook?

Retargeting Ads on Facebook refers to running ads on Facebook and Instagram targeted toward past visitors to your website, app, or social media pages (Facebook and Instagram). Let’s say you run a restaurant. You’re getting traffic to your website, but they are not visiting your online ordering page, so you’re losing these customers.

Through Facebook’s tracking pixel, you can identify these visitors and run a targeted ad based on their behavior. For example, you could offer an exclusive coupon to push them towards purchase.

In fact, Facebook allows you to retarget in quite a few ways:

  • You can target prospects visiting your Website.
  • You can target previous Customers through any customer lists that you have on MailChimp or any other source.
  • You can target customers visiting your App.

You can target customers from the following Facebook Sources

  • Video – prospects who have engaged with your videos
  • Lead Form- Prospects who have filled up your lead form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles – prospects who have engaged on your Instagram posts
  • Events- Prospects who have engaged with your videos
  • Facebook page- Prospects who have engaged on your Facebook posts

Getting Started

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook

1. Setting up Facebook Business Manager

Let’s start from scratch- as a first step, we will show you how you can set up Facebook Business Manager for your Business Pages on Facebook.

Log in to Facebook Business Manager if you already have an account. However, if you do not have one, you can create an account in a few simple steps. (Although Facebook does not mix-up posts from your business and personal profiles, it is still advisable to keep your business account separate from your personal account.)

If you already have a Facebook Business Manager account and have added your pages and Ad accounts to it, you may jump to the next section – Setting up your Facebook Pixel.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Business manager
  • Enter a name for your business,  and enter your name and work email.
  • Enter the information in the rest of the required fields.
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Facebook Business manager
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Facebook Business manager

Once you have created your account, you need to add your Facebook business page. If you already have a Facebook Business Page, you can add its URL and continue. 

You can only add those pages for which you have admin’s access. If you manage a page for a client, you need to request access to it. Facebook will only allow you to request access to a client’s page only if you have added at least one Business page to your Facebook Business manager ( so you must have one Facebook Page for which you have admin’s access, if you don’t have one, you can create within the business manager by selecting the create page option.)

Note: If you own a  marketing agency handling several business pages, the right way to set up your account is to first create or add a page (If you already have one)  for your marketing agency. This will act as the primary page and then you can go ahead request access to all pages you manage for the clients.

  • Click on accounts in the left-hand Navigation bar on the business setting pages
  • Select pages in the drop-down menu
  • Click on add Page
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Ads account on Facebook Business manager
  • Add the Url of your Facebook Business Page
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Adding a Facebook Page to Business manager

Note: If you don’t yet have a Page for your business, create one. by selecting the option and filling the required fields.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Adding a Facebook Page to Business manager
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a page for your local business

Once you have added a Business Page, the next is adding an Ad account. Select Ad accounts Under the accounts in the left-hand navigation bar and click on add accounts.

  • You can add an ad account- if you already have one.
  • You can request access to an ad account of your clients.
  • Or you can create a new Ad account
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Assigning Assets on Facebook Business Manager

Note: Once you have added a primary facebook business page, you can add or request access to your client’s pages and their respective add accounts.

To Summarize-

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting Up Facebook Business Manager

2. Setting Up The Facebook Pixel

There are several ways in which you can retarget on Facebook. Using Facebook Pixel is just one of them. Facebook Pixel is basically a tracking code that helps you to track customer behavior on your website or mobile app. All you have to do is copy and paste the code between the header Tags on each page(that you would like to track) of your website or mobile app. 

Note: If you not looking to retarget website visitors or maybe for starters you just want to retarget visitors to your facebook page or by using customer emails that you have at your disposal, you may skip this step.

So, let’s set up our pixel:

To set up your pixel, go to Menu > Events Manager> Pixels

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting Up Facebook Pixel

If you have never created a pixel before, navigate to data sources and select create a pixel. Enter a name for your pixel. You can add the url of the website, however, this is an optional step.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a Facebook Pixel On Business manager
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a Facebook Pixel On Business manager

If you have already created a Pixel- here’s how you access it.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

Once you have created or accessed your existing pixel- click on install pixel.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

There are several ways in which you can install the Facebook Pixel on your website.

Facebook currently integrates with BigCommerce, Google Tag Manager, Magento, Segment, Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce. If you’re using any of these, simply select the relevant platform and follow the instructions to integrate.

If you are not using these platforms, you have the option of copy and pasting the code between the tags on your site. Here’s how:

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

If you want you can use the Facebook pixel to track specific actions that customers take on your site, like Add to Cart, Purchase Complete, etc. For this, you’ll need to add a few extra lines of code (shown in blue in the pic below) on the relevant pages. 

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

You can also set up pixel tracking for events. The business manager provides you with a number of options depending on the nature of your business. You can select the relevant option and follow the step-by-step instructions to set up event tracking.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Event Pixel

If you are still unsure about how to set up events for your business. You can visit the pixel implementation guide which walks you step-by-step through the set-up process.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Event Pixel

If you have a web developer working on your website or you can also simply e-mail the instructions to them for installing the pixel.

Here’s how to copy paste the code on your site- Navigate to the backend of your site

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website

Copy and paste the Facebook Pixel just below the header tag on each page of your website that you would like to track.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website

You should have a separate Facebook pixel for each ad account-if you want to keep your conversion data separate across domains.

Step 3: Create a Custom Audience

Retargeting on Facebook, as we have already mentioned before, implies targeting a set of people who have visited your website or social media pages. Now the question that automatically comes to mind is that from where do you get this list of an audience who have shown a prior interest in your products. There are several possibilities here; you may be having a list of subscribed customers in your brand’s MailChimp account. Or, you may have customer data available to you via your CMS or other tools. Retargeting Ads allow you to use any kind of customer data that you have at your disposal.

Here are all the sources from which you can create a custom audience.

  • Website traffic
  • Customer List
  • App Activity
  • Offline Activity

Use Facebook Sources

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles
  • Events
  • Facebook page

 Now, let’s head over to Facebook’s  Business Manager and create a custom audience to retarget.

Go to Menu > Assets >Audience.

Then select Create Audience > Custom Audience

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience

a. First, we will be creating a custom audience based on “Website Traffic.”

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

Depending on your campaign goals you can select the audience you are looking to target. The Facebook business manager gives you an option of targeting

  • All website visitors
  • People who visit specific pages of your website
  • Visitors by time spent

From any events that you may have set up. In this example, we have set up two events

  • Page views
  • Purchases
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic
Business Manager provides you several parameters, which help you to define your custom audience.
 
The first parameter as you can see in the pic above is “ANY or AND”. According to Facebook,
 
“By selecting Any, you’ll include or exclude people who meet any one of your criteria during the time period chosen by you. For example, you can include people who visited your website in the past 20 days or people who added an item to their wishlist in the past 14 days.
By selecting All, you’ll include or exclude people who meet all your criteria during the time period selected by you. For example, you can exclude people who searched for an item on your website in the past 21 days and purchased from your website in the past 21 days. You can track all prospects who visited your website within the last 180 days at the max. “

You can create a  custom audience that includes all prospects who visit your website within a specific time. This is particularly helpful if you want to keep your brand on top of the mind of customers or in the awareness phase. You can choose to show your ads to all customers who may have visited your site in the last 180 days at the max. However, we feel to say more relevant if you restrict yourself to the default 30 or 15-20 days. You can narrow down your target audience by adding another parameter- say for example excluding people who have spent less than 30 seconds on your site or including people who have triggered the page view event.

        Once you have defined your custom audience, you can give it a name and hit save.

The second option – “people who have visited specific pages on your site” allows you to create more targeted ads. Let’s see how this can be done. You can create your audience in two ways:

Now suppose you run a restaurant, you would obviously want to target customers you viewed your menu or online ordering page but did not pace an order. To set this up you can choose to include the keywords #menu #onlineordering and exclude people who visited your order confirmation or Thankyou Page.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

Let’s take another example, suppose you own a store that sells home decor and you are planning to offer a discount on rugs and carpets. You would want to show an ad to all customers who have shown an interest in your rugs and carpets but abandoned their shopping carts. You can target anyone who’s looked at both your rugs and carpets AND the checkout page. This tells us that they viewed our products and are interested in them. To control ad costs or avoid showing the ad to customers who may have completed the purchase, you can exclude the people who have visited the Thankyou page.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

If you are targeting audiences who visited specific pages on your website, the business manager allows you to further refine the audience by frequency and device.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

The third option of targeting visitors by the amount of time spent would make more sense if you own an online publication or have a blog where you write about your products. Obviously, a higher the amount of time a spent on your site may indicate that the prospect may be more likely to subscribe to your publication or purchase your products. Let’s say that your website sells men’s health products. The articles on your website’s blog discuss many men’s health-related issues, you can target the prospects who have spent five minutes or more on a page, indicating a definite interest in the topic.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

The other parameter you can control here is time.  If you’re retargeting people who viewed your content or blog posts, the default 30 days might be good. However, 10 -15 days is more suitable for cart abandonment ads. Now that you’ve defined your audience all you need to do is name the group and save.

Once you have saved your audience will be lead back to the list of saved custom audiences.   It may take Facebook some time to gather the relevant data, in the interim period you will see a red light and a warning “audience too small” beside your newly created audience set in the availability column. You would have to wait for this light to turn green (this may take up to 30 minutes or more) before you can use this custom audience in any of your ads.

b. Creating a Custom Audience based on App Activity

With the help of Facebook Pixel you can also track the behavior of prospects on your mobile app. You can get more details on this here.

c. Creating a Custom Audience based on Customer files

You can create a custom audience by importing customer files from MailChimp or uploading them manually.

d. Creating a Custom Audience based on data from Facebook sources.

Business manager allows you to track customer behavior on Facebook and Instagram without the use of Facebook      Pixel. To do this you can set up a custom audience based on Facebook sources.

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles
  • Events
  • Facebook page

Here are a few examples:

1.People who have interacted with your videos.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on video view

2. Custom audience based on people who have interacted with a lead form that you have integrated on Facebook.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on lead forms

3. Custom audience based on the people who have interacted with your events in the past.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on event interaction

4. People who have interacted with your Facebook page in the past.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on page engagement

5. People who have interacted with your Instagram page in the past.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on page engagement

4. Set-up your Ad

Once you have created your custom audience you can go ahead and set up your ad. If you are familiar with advertising on Facebook or Instagram, you will not have any problem setting this up.

Head over to Ad Manager within the Facebook Business Manager and click on create ads and follow each step within the guided creation. The basic steps involved are:

    a. Determine Your Objective

Depending on your goals, select your campaign objective and name your campaign.  We have selected Traffic in            this example here.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Selecting your objective
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Selecting your objective

 b. Select your Audience

You should select the custom audience you set in the preceding step.  You may skip Advanced targeting as it may interfere with the custom audience that you have set up. However, this is totally up to you. Let’s say you have set up a custom audience based on all website visitors who have visited a specific page on your website, but you want to run an Ad offering discount only in a particular location, you may want to filter your custom audience by location.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Selecting your audience

   c. Set Placements

Again, it is totally up to you, but we generally recommend automatic placements.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Ad Placement

  d. Set Your Budget

If you are just starting out with advertising on Facebook, you may want to go with Facebook’s recommendation. Keep in mind that Facebook allows you to set a daily budget and a lifetime budget for your ad. Retargeting ads work well if they run continuously.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up a budget

e. Create Your Ad

Finally, you get to create your ad. Upload your Ad creative and follow the steps to create your Ad!! don’t forget to check the preview before you hit publish!!! Here is a helpful link

Retargeting Ads on Facebook are a powerful and effective way to convert casual visitors into loyal patrons. So, if are not using Retargeting Ads already, start Now!!!

15 ways to Use Your Restaurant’s Chatbot

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 are ways to use your restaurant’s chatbot at every stage of the customer journey from awareness to advocacy.

Awareness Stage

Brand Discovery- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

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

Engagement Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

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

Acquisition Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

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

a. 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

Loyalty Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

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

Advocacy Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

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.

Wrap- Up

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.

Everything You Need To Know About Chatbots For Your Restaurants

What Are Chatbots?

Chatbots are programs built to automatically engage with the customers visiting your website or social media pages. These bots are programmed to send out automated replies in response to customer queries.

Types of Chatbots:

1. Driven by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence:

This type of chatbot understands natural language and commands and uses machine learning to adapt responses in accordance with the context.

2. Keyword based chatbots

These are driven by a set of predetermined answers that are triggered in response to certain keywords. They rely on a large database of frequently asked questions to produce the best response and therefore may not be correct 100% of the times.

Your customers don’t have to download another app to use these chatbots. They can be accessed via existing chat apps such as Facebook Messenger , Whatsapp or website chat windows  to receive and respond to messages.

Shake Shack- Chatbots For Your Restaurants

Chatbots have been around for quite some time. However with the recent advances in natural language processing and AI, Chatbot technology has grown robust enough to meet the challenges of modern marketing.

According to a drift survey customers use chatbots for a number of purposes such as

  • To get a quick answer to questions
  • To resolve a complaint or problem
  • To get a more detailed answer to a query
  • Finding a human customer service representative

However, Chatbots aren’t just a handy tool for your customers, they’re also great for your business.

Benefits of Chatbots

1. Save Time & Money

Research from Sprout Social shows that the number of social messages requiring a response from a brand increased by 18% from 2015 to 2016.

The millennial customers expects brands to be available 24×7 to answer questions, clear doubts and guide them through the purchase journey. Providing around the clock customer support requires huge investment in terms of time and resources, which may not always be feasible. By automating conversations you could save time and money that can then be allocated to other areas that require your attention.

2. Nurture Customers

Every customer visiting your restaurant’s website or social media pages may not have an intention to buy. He may be just checking on offers or perusing through the menu.

You can program your chatbot to engage with these customers, ask questions to guide them in the right direction, share menus, pricing , or collect their email ids.  Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to create a better user experience.

3. Generate Sales

You can use chatbots to connect directly to all your customers sending them personalized offers and recommendation in accordance with their purchase history.

Many popular restaurant chains  are successfully using chatbots to promote offers and discounts, limited time deals or loyalty privileges. They can also be used to allow your customers to make reservations or order ahead.

4. Provide ‘After Hours’ Support

According to data from Drift, most people use chatbots get quick answers to questions. Your customers can get the information they are looking for via these chatbots chatbot even when your business is closed.

5. Generate Leads

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

GETTING STARTED WITH CHATBOTS

Taco bell- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Taco Bot By Taco bell Made Online Ordering a Breeze

There are a few ways in which you can get a Chatbot for your restaurant

1. Building your own bot:

Coding  your own chatbot, be it from scratch or using NLP Platforms involves a huge investment in terms of time and a steep learning curve. You would also need  prior knowledge of coding and natural language processing.

Use DIY platforms for building a bot –

There are some platforms which provide you with Drag ‘n’ Drop features to build chatbots without any coding.

Hire An agency:

You can hire an agency to create a fully functional chatbot for you.

Whichever method you choose, there are several other aspects which require your attention before roll out your restaurant’s chatbot.

2. Preparing to Launch

a. Define Your Goal

Spend time at the onset to define the goals you are looking to achieve from the chatbot. It could range from

  • Engaging your customers
  • Resolving customer service issues
  • Promoting menu items, offers and deals
  • Acquiring new customers

Having clear goals in mind helps you to develop a strategy and build out a unique experience.

Subway- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Subway’s order ahead bot on Facebook Messenger

b. Choose Platforms to Leverage

Consider the channels you would like to take your programs live on. The answer to this would depend on your goals and also which channel in your opinion could provide you with the maximum leverage

Social Media Channels

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Twitter Direct Message
  • Whatsapp messenger

You can check your Facebook and Twitter insights to get an idea of how many of your audiences visit these platforms regularly. Also, consider how many of your followers are on Facebook Messenger and how they are using the channel. You should also check on the audience demographics on each of these channels. 

Your Website

Check your website analytics to see where you get maximum visitors. What are these visitors doing on your site. What kind of assistance or experience could you offer to these visitors.

All these metrics will help you to decide which platform to leverage and what kind of communication(Via Your Chatbot) would be appropriate on that channel.

c. Build Your Content Strategy

Once you have finalized your goals and the platform you plan to employ, you can start working on the experience you want to offer to your customers.

Think about what questions customers are likely to ask your chatbot.  Think of multiple responses to every question. Build flows for each turn a  conversation could take- think about the kind of information you would like to disseminate through these conversations, such as information about offers or deals, your loyalty program, specials, and the like. Figure out how you can take a prospective conversation in the intended direction while fully satisfying customer needs. 

Pizza Hut- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Pizza Hut”s Bot On FB Messenger allows you to order just by sending an emoji

d. Craft Your Bot’s Voice 

Your chatbot is ultimately another extension of your brand. Ensure that its voice and personality is aligned to your brand image. Many restaurant give a name to their bot to humanize the whole experience.

Laying down these basics at the onset facilitates the bot building process and helps you provide a better customer experience.
Wingstop- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Wingstop launched its Bot both on Facebook and Twitter

BEST PRACTICES

a. Maintain Transparency: Let your customers know they’re chatting with a bot so they do not feel misled at a later stage.

b. Call-To-Action Buttons:Use CTAs to drive users to a specific goal such as leading them to your online ordering page or sharing their experience with friends on social networks.

c. Always Offer a Way to Exit : Give your customers the option to switch over to a human assistant at any time they wish to.

d. Gather Customer Feedback: Don’t forget to ask your customers whether they enjoyed the interaction with your chatbot and the improvements they would like to see.

e. Promote your bot: The success of your chatbot would depend on how well you promote it. Go all out on letting your customers know that you are offering them a exciting new way to interact with your brand.

Wrap Up

Like all other marketing initiatives, you would need to monitor and analyze the performance of your chatbot in the long-run and look for ways in which you could improve customer experience on your Bot.

How to Use Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant?

Why send a birthday email?

Birthday email could be an interesting way to engage with your customers. The great thing about setting up a birthday email campaign that it requires very little effort and investment on your part while yielding great dividends. Once you’ve set up the process, the system requires only occasional intervention from your side.

According to Experian data, as compared to promotional emails, birthday emails have:

  • a 481% higher conversion rate
  • Yield 342% higher revenue per message
Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant

Note: If your restaurant is running a full-fledged loyalty program– it may preclude the need for a separate birthday campaign as you may have birthday offers already included as a part of your Loyalty program. However, if you are not up for a full-blown loyalty program- a birthday club is a great idea.

Advantages of Setting up Birthday Emails

Maxim Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant

Building better customer relations

Most customers appreciate a personalized gesture by brands on their special days. So, connecting with your customer on their special day helps you to strengthen brand affinity.

Generate Revenue 

Customers who may not have planned to visit your restaurant may plan a visit after considering the offer.

Engage Inactive Users

Birthday emails are a great way to restart interaction with dormant customers.

Getting Started

1. Collect data to set up your campaign

You need to have birthday data of your customers to send out wishes or an offer on the occasion. So, the first question that comes to mind is how do you go about collecting this information. There can be several ways to do this.

  • Add a subscription form to your restaurant’s monthly newsletter: You can insert a form to subscribe to your birthday club in your monthly newsletter.
  • Embed a registration form or landing page on your website:
  • Embed a form through third-party apps like MailChimp on your Facebook page.
Mkonnekt's Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant

2. Set up an automated email campaign

Once you have the data, you can set up an automated email campaign by using an email service provider of your choice such as MailChimp.

3. What to say in the birthday email?

Tailor your message in accordance with your brand image. Let’s say you run fast-casual restaurant chain – the tone and imagery of your email should be fun and casual.

Prezzo's Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • Keep your message short and crisp
  • Have clear CTAs
  • Personalize the offers that you send out to your customers
  • Include interactive content like videos or gifs
  • Wish your customer: Each year I am excited to receive the personalized birthday wishes from the Facebook team- Isn’t is a great way to build a bond with your customers and make them feel special.
  • A discount coupon encourages your customers to visit your store. Roll our a discount coupon or limited time special offer.
  •  You could also offer other exclusive benefits, such as free delivery on online ordering.

     Best Practices:

  • If you send out a single mail on the day of your customer’s birthday there is a greater chance that your customers might miss the email. The better way to do it is to set up a drip campaign- sending out trigger mails at least a month or 15 days before the actual occasion and build up slowly until the D-day.
 Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • Ideally, you should also set up reminders for customers who fail to open the birthday mail, click on the offer or use the coupon within the stipulated time frame.
  • You could take the conversation to the next level by sending out a feedback email to customers who availed of the coupon. Use this opportunity to promote other offers or services such as online ordering or delivery. You could make it more interesting by adding an exclusive coupon to any offer or event that you are planning to run in the future.
  • Employ multiple channels to your advantage – Follow up your email campaign with SMS reminders at regular intervals.

4. Promote your campaign:

You have set up a campaign to collect customer Birthdays, but how would your customers know about it unless you promote it extensively.

Promote Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • Set up promotional posters in-store
  • Restaurant table tents are perfect for the promotion of such services.
  • Train your staff to encourage customers to register on your website or Facebook page. You could even go the old fashioned way collecting emails and birthdays manually on feedback forms presented to guests at the time of check out.
  • Promote the campaign through your monthly emails or newsletters.
  • You can request customers who leave a positive review to sign up by including a link to the subscription page in your responses.
  • Push the birthday campaign through posts on social media channels.
  • Run ads on relevant networks
  • Induce customers to sign-up by offering a special coupon on registration.

5. Analyze and Optimize

After you have successfully set up your campaign and run it for a few months, it is time to step back and analyze each aspect of your campaign. You should consider metrics such as:

Yo's Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • No of people who have signed up
  • Email open rate
  • Click through rate
  • No. of people who have redeemed the offer
  • How well are the promotions working
  • Do you need to optimize offers or any other aspects to increase conversion rate

Tweak your campaign according to your observations.

Automate this entire process with tools like the Birthday module.

  • Automate the process- You can use tools like Birthday Module to automate the process. Once The setup is installed on your website a tab appears on the home page(or any other page you choose). Customers can click on the tab to enter their details. A similar tab is integrated on your Facebook business page. Your customers can subscribe both on your website and on Facebook.
  • The cycle of automated emails is setup
  • You can choose how many emails you want to send out
  • The time at which these emails would be triggered let’s say-
    • first email 15 days before a customer’s birthday,
    • 2nd email a week before the birthday and so on
    • You can also choose to send out reminders for customers who have not opened the email or clicked o the offer.
  • Automatic SMSs are also sent to the customers at the frequency you choose.
  • Customize offers that you want to send out- including an offer for birthday or sign-up offers
  • All customer data is centrally collected and available for future campaigns.

After the initial setup, the automated process requires minimal intervention on your part.

Additional Tip: Now that you are running a birthday club- it would be great if you could offer a special experience to customers who drop by on their birthdays to avail the coupons. Train your staff to create a special experience for these customers.  Your staff could present a birthday song! You can even Have simple cards printed to give out to any customers visiting your store on their birthday. As a restaurant owner, you may be well aware that it only takes a little effort from your staff to make customers feel special.

9 Ways to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

“Customer engagement is the degree and depth of  BRAND- FOCUSSED interactions a customer chooses to perform.”    The Smile Team

Customer engagement includes any interactions that a customer may have with a brand, and brand-focused interactions that a customer has with his friends, colleagues, or family- this could include seeking reviews, recommendations, brand mentions, feedback, etc. As a restaurant owner and marketer, it becomes equally important to focus on the degree and depth of these interactions as some interactions may be more valuable to your brand than others. For instance, when a customer shares a pic having dinner at your restaurant, it generates much more value for your brand than when he likes one of your posts on social media.

The value of engaging your customer at all touchpoints of the customer journey cannot be stressed enough. Research by Gallop shows that a fully-engaged customer represents 23% more revenue than average. An engaged customer is more likely to buy from your brand, offer feedback, and develop loyalty towards the brand. Companies can increase cross-sell by sending out personalized offers, drive- up revenues, and increase order sizes by having a comprehensive customer engagement strategy in place.  In fact, 44% of customers claim that they are more likely to return to businesses that offer them a personalized experience.

There are no uniform strategies to engage your Customer- what works for one restaurant may not work for another. However, by analyzing all touch points and looking at the ways in which your customers engage with your business at these touchpoints, you can optimize the communication you send out at each of these stages.

Here are a few online and offline strategies that you can use to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

1. Respond to Everyone

 It is important to show your customers that you as a brand are responsive to messages. Set up a process to reply to messages, feedback, or any other kind of communication you receive from your customers.  This could be via e-mail, contact forms on your website, or messages left on social media.

Responding to comments or messages you receive from fans on social media or other platforms makes them feel valued and more likely to engage with your business in future.

2. Contests To Boost Customer Engagement

Another great way to boost engagement with your fans and prospective customers is by holding contests. As a Restaurant owner or a marketer, you may feel reluctant to hold contests or feel that “Everyone is having a contest all the time”.  But, the truth is they work. Everyone enjoys winning, even if it is something small such as a coffee or an appetizer. To get the most out of a contest think of what you want to achieve from running the contest. Having clear goals will help you in coming up with strategies to achieve your targets.

Contests to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Here are some goals that you could be looking at:

  • Website traffic
  • Brand Awareness
  • Boosting user engagement
  • Building your email list
  • Growing your social media presence
  • Promoting an upcoming product or service
  • Collecting user feedback to improve product quality
  • Converting followers into brand advocates

Consider the platforms on which you would be run the contest and lay down other details like clear terms and conditions, giveaways, duration of the contest etc.

Try to think of  fun, quirky ideas for a contest  

  • In-store Selfie Contest
  • Photo contest featuring your products
  • Hashtag Contest
  • Suggesting a slogan

 Take a look at this contest by Flying pig, which meets three goals

  • Raising Brand awareness
  • Generating UGC
  • Promoting a branded Hashtag
  • Generating opportunities for cross-sell

 

Social Media Contests to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Promote your Contest

The success of your contest and how much engagement it generates would also depend on how well you promote it across various channels.

  • Post about it on your social media handles or homepage of your own website/blog!
  • Run promoted posts on Social Media Channels
  • Use a branded hashtag to promote your contest
  • Send an email to inform subscribers and encourage them to participate
  • Partner with other brands for cross promotion
  • Follow-up by commenting and thanking every participant.

Brands that run contests on a regular basis have a much higher engagement rate as compared to others. So it is time, you step up your social media game by adding a few fun contests to your strategy.

3. Respond to Reviews To Boost Customer Engagement

The success of a modern restaurant depends, to a large extent, on its ability to generate positive reviews. If you are still not convinced take a look at the data below:

  • According to recent surveys, 93% of consumers say product reviews influence their purchasing decisions
  • 85% trust online reviews of local businesses as much as they trust personal recommendations.
  • Almost half (49%) need to see four stars before they’ll even engage with your business.
  • (82%) have decided to buy a product or service after reading through the content of a review.
Respond to Reviews to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
Most people check for reviews on Yelp before trying out a New Place

Responding to reviews both positive and negative gives you an opportunity to engage the customer and show them that you value their business while building up a positive perception of your business. Replying to your customers helps you open up a direct communication channel for future conversations. You can take the conversation to the next level by asking your customers to connect via email.

But first, how do you get your customers to leave positive reviews about your food and services?

Develop a strategy to generate reviews

  • Solicit reviews: Train your staff to ask for reviews after the customer has finished a meal. Research says that 60% will leave a review if they’re encouraged to do so.
  • Make reviewing easier
  • Provide an incentive to review
  • Automate the process using technology– use tools like Kritiq which send an automatic feedback form to the customer every time he makes a purchase from you.

While many of us respond to negative reviews, we often overlook positive comments.  Thanking a customer who left a positive review not only helps you build a close bond with customers but also gives you the opportunity to promote your brand and services- like here at mKonnekt, we have a policy of requesting customers who left a positive review to follow us on social media. You can even go ahead and share your online ordering link or request them to join your loyalty program.  Sharing such positive reviews on social media is a great way to boost positive SEO of your brand. 

4. Coupons and Discounts To Boost Customer Engagement

“Discounting the right way is the best and fastest way to grow a stalling bar or restaurant business.” -Nick Foster

Discounts can be a great way to get people in the door. It’s important to have a strategy around them and communicates your message correctly. If your customers start feeling that offering discounts is the only way your restaurant generates footfall, then discounting is definitely harming your brand image. Devote some time to articulate your message- make your customers feel that you are offering the discount because you value their business.

Coupons and discounts to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
Holiday Discounts

Here are some strategies that you could use:

  • Offering deals to first-time customers or regulars can make them feel appreciated and connected to your restaurant.
  • Holiday discounts: Such as a discount for Fathers on Father’s Day or teachers a discount during Teacher Appreciation Week.
  • Promote your discount and deals through posts on social media or by running ads.
  • Check on the most and least popular items on your menu and create offers to promote these dishes.
  • Restaurants can leverage discounts to get more people in the door during slow hours and slow days of the week.
  • Offer discount cards or coupons through platforms like Yelp or Groupon.
  • Collaborate with a local organization by offering coupons for their events.
 discounts to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
A Great Way to Boost Sales on Slow Days of the Week

5. Gift Cards To Boost Customer Engagement

Gift cards top the list of most requested gift items. 58.8% of consumers say they would like to receive gift cards as a gift during the Holiday Season. The great thing about gift cards is that they do not cut into your restaurant’s profit and are a great way to build customer engagement with your brand. Apart from generating sales, gift cards serve as a great advertorial keeping your brand on top of your customer’s mind. Public holidays or special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. are the perfect time to push out Gift Cards.

Gift Cards to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

According to statistics, approximately 2 out of 3 gift card holders spend almost 40 percent more than the value of the gift card. So, every time a customer walks in with a gift card, you get an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell.

6. E-mail Marketing To Boost Customer Engagement

“Every dollar spent on email marketing can help you get an average ROI of $38.” 

Emails are a great way to keep in touch with your customers.  You can use email campaigns both for customer acquisition as well as retention.  Most successful restaurants are using emails to keep their customers up-to-date with the latest offers and promotions. You could also push your online ordering or delivery services via email campaigns.

Email Marketing to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Deploy these Tips to Boost Email Engagement

  • Dynamic content based on demographics and preferences
    • Segment emails based on basis of demographics, interests or preferences.
    • Ask your audience to choose the kind of content they would like to receive, such as- new additions, offers, events.
    • Offer a link that allows readers to change their preferences.
  • Have Clear, Brief  Call to Actions in your emails
    • Include your CTA in the email subject line
    • Use contrasting colors to help the CTA stand out
    • Link your CTA to a dedicated website landing page
    • Ensure that your CTA is a part of the text portion of the email body so that it is visible see even if a recipient has images turned off.
  • Personalize your content and offers
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Automate your emails 
  • Ask for feedback and improve.
  • Mix promotional emails with content which creates value for your users
    • Share recipes of house favorites
    • Food Facts
    • Healthy eating options on your menu

7. Birthday emails To Boost Customer Engagement

Retaining your current customers is up to 7x cheaper than acquiring new ones. Did you know that Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails and on an average, they generate a 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails?

Running a birthday campaign can help you bolster engagement with your customers. Here are two ways to do it:

1. Set up an email campaign– Plan and set up a campaign to collect birthdays by asking your customers to sign up on your website, or you can even embed a form on social media sites like Facebook to collect such data. Once you have collected this data, use it to set up an automated campaign through MailChimp to send out specials to your customers on their birthdays.

2. Use Automation: You could also automate the entire process by integrating tools such as  Birthday Module on your website. Once you have set up this Module on your website, a tab will automatically appear on your facebook page and your website.

Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
  • Customers can sign up both on your website and Facebook.
  • Once a user registers- the system sends out coupons automatically on their birthdays and anniversaries.  
  • You can send out coupons for signing-up along with coupons for birthdays and anniversaries.
  • You can customize offers that you want to send out.

Best Practices

  • Personalize subject lines and messages
  • Send the offer on birthday or anniversaries
  • Send  reminders
  • Create a clear call to action“Redeem Your Birthday Gift”

8. Chatbots to Boost Customer Engagement

Facebook allows brands to connect with their potential customers through messenger bots. These chatbots can be accessed via existing chat apps such as Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp, so your customers won’t have to download another app.  You can connect directly to all your customers sending them personalized offers and recommendations in accordance with their purchase history through these messenger bots.

Chatbot Marketing to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
Restobot Chatbot Marketing to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Popular chains like Pizza Hut are successfully using this technology to boost customer engagement by being available to their customers at all times, answering their queries and sending out personalized deals. These Chatbots can also be used to allow your customers to make reservations or order ahead. 

9. Loyalty programs to Boost Customer Engagement

Restaurant loyalty programs are another great way to boost customer engagement. When a customer has a positive experience or derives value from your products or services, he is likely to return to your business. That is where customer loyalty programs can help you. A customer loyalty program offers special privileges by the way of discounts to customers who make frequent purchases.

Loyalty Programs to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

On average, loyal customers spend more and are more likely to recommend your restaurant to friends and family. In the U.S., 40% of online shopping revenue comes from repeat customers.

Restaurant Loyalty Programs to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Best Practices

  • The best time to invite guests to join your restaurant’s loyalty program is when they’ve just had a great experience.
  • Train your staff to encourage guests to join your loyalty program to avail of enticing offers and special deals.
  • Promote the program on your website and social media handles.
  • Offer an incentive to sign-up
  • Go for completely digitized cardless loyalty programs.
  • Integrate your loyalty program with your Pos System.
  • Simplify the signing -up process
  • Make it easy to checkpoints and redeem offers.
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Customize rewards based on customer preferences.

The key to boosting engagement is understanding your customers. You can provide a personalized experience and optimize engagement at each stage only if you understand your customers and their journeys.

Wrap Up:

These are some of the tricks we have been using to boost customer engagement. We would love to know how you engage with your customers.

How to Create Effective Customer Journey Maps?

What is Customer Journey?

A customer journey is a route your customer takes to complete the desired conversion action. It could be anything from purchasing a product to downloading an e-book.

The path a customer takes to conversion may vary depending on the nature of your business. Often decisions that involve a lot of money — such as purchasing a house, car, software, or a holiday may take a longer time to convert as compared to buying something cheaper say a book.

A typical Customer Journey spans  through  Five Stages:

A2A- Effective Customer Journey Maps

What is a Customer Journey Map?

  • A customer journey map is the detailed visual representation of the journey a customer takes to conversion.
  • Customer Journey maps may be different for different products, companies, and industries.
  • In fact, two people may follow an entirely different path to purchase even if they are buying the same product.

Benefits of Mapping the Customer Journey

By creating a Customer Journey Map you can

  • Understand your customers by segment
  • Chart each step of the customer experience
  • Get a clear picture of where and when customers are interacting with your business.
  • Understand why customers are making purchases or why are they leaving.
  • You can create focused messages for each buyer persona at different stages of the journey.
  • Build campaigns with a clear call to action and KPI for each stage of your journey.
  • Identify choke points where you are currently losing customers and develop procedures to address these.

How to Create Effective Customer Journey Maps?

To create a customer journey map, you need to understand what motivates your customers to buy your products. Once you are aware of the motivations, you can align the communication your customers will receive at each stage in the journey across platforms and throughout your marketing campaigns, providing a more consistent customer experience.

Creating Buyer Personas

The path two different customers follow to conversion may not be the same, as their motivation for buying a product may not be the same. For instance, customer “A” maybe be planning to purchase the software your company sells for personal use, his consideration and journey to the conversion will be different from the path Customer “B” takes, who needs to purchase the same software for his office.

Therefore the first step is to create buyer personas.

If you have already been in business for some time, you may have identified your target audience to identify the kind of people who would be interested in products and services. But the target audience is not the same customer personas.  While defining your target audience you may have considered demographics such as:

  • geographic location
  • age
  • sex
  • religion
  • marital status
  • income

Customer personas are more detailed and dig down further looking for differentiating factors within a certain demographic. Two people of the same age and gender living in the same city in the same income bracket may not have similar interests.  Creating detailed customer personas helps you to understand the motivation of each segment of your population.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to consider the following information about your customer personas.

Creating Customer Personas -Effective Customer Journey Maps

Here is an example of a customer persona for a furniture store.

Creating Buyer Personas -Effective Customer Journey Maps

You can start creating customer personas by

  • You can delve into the data available on your Website, CRM, Social Media, or Advertising.
  • You can interview and current and prospective customers, conduct online surveys.
  • You can also utilize tools such as Facebook Audience Insights to find out more about your current customers including demographic data and their interests.

Touchpoints

List every possible touchpoint at which you are communicating with your customers, and what messages they are receiving at these touchpoints. These could include your website, social media, word of mouth, brochures,  display ads,  review sites, Television ads, emails, chatbots, phone calls, events, in-store promotions, and customer service. The longer your customer journey takes, the more touchpoints it will involve.

Customer Touchpoints -Effective Customer Journey Maps

You can make this task easier by putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and walking through his customer’s journey step-by-step.

  • What is the problem (that a product or service your company is offering could solve)?
  • What do you do when you discover the product or business that solves your problem?
  • How do you make your purchase decision?
  • What do you do after the purchase?
Mapping Customer Touchpoints -Effective Customer Journey Maps

Build a Framework

  • Firstly, define the end goal of the customer journey. ( buy a product or service, sign up for a newsletter or blog, download an app.)
  • Consider who it is aimed at
  • Where they are in your customer journey?
  • Define the first point at which a particular buyer persona begins its journey?
  • What is the problem they are currently experiencing that sets them on the customer journey?
  • How can you help them progress to the next stage of the journey?
  • What are the channels through which you reach them?

Visualize Your Path

1. Define the stages that a buyer will progress through before making a purchase decision.

Visualizing Customer Touchpoints -Effective Customer Journey Maps

For instance, in the example of Susie above- suppose a friend recommended your furniture store to Susie.  What will be the decision stages Susie will pass through before purchasing from you.

  • She may check out your website
  • She will go through reviews
  • She may ask other friends about your store
  • She will compare prices and product specification with other brands that she has been considering
  • She may want to speak to your Customer Service representative to inquire about your products, services, and warranty.

2. List down the key decisions each buyer persona has to make throughout their customer journey.

For Susie here, this may involve

  • Do your products meet the requirements in terms of style and functionality?
  • Do you offer all the furniture that she is looking for
  • is your furniture durable
  • How easy it is to install 
  • What are your shipping charges
  • Will you be offering any kind of assistance during the installation?
  • what are your return policies
  • How much warranty do you offer?
  • Will it fit in her budget?

3. For each of these decision stages, define the key goal that you need to help the buyer achieve to progress to the next stage.

Define Key Goals -Effective Customer Journey Maps

Bring together all the data that you have gathered so far and identified the choke points in the customer journey. Mark all the areas where you feel you need to optimize your strategy to help the customer move to the next stage.

Define Your Strategy

Now that you have created an effective customer journey maps and you have identified the key roadblocks. The next step is to define your strategy going forward.  For each of the stages and touchpoints, define the channels by which you would be reaching out to the customer. Create key messages and communication that you need to send out at each of these touchpoints in the customer journey.

Doing this will enable you to align your communication throughout the customer journey. This customer journey map should guide all your sales and marketing campaigns.

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