Today’s consumers pose a number of challenges to the food services industry. The majority of people have less money to spend due to the current state of the economy. Along with the normal challenges to maintaining restaurant traffic levels is a more discerning customer who is likely to use easy to access online reviews and form their opinions through social media in combination with specialty cable channels. The net result for food service providers is fewer visits but higher expectations on both product and service offerings.
Greater competition also means that if guests fail to find the consistency and quality they expect from a brand, they can quickly shift to another. Often this means taking their friends with them as well. To further complicate matters, consumers can be “constantly connected” through a mobile device. This allows them to broadcast to their peers a brand experience – good, bad, or ugly – at the click of a button through social media.
When these realities are considered along with the usual demands of food services – long hours, tough price points and a constant pressure for innovation – it becomes clear that modern restaurateurs have more on their plates than ever before.
The goals of all food services organizations are the same. They want to deliver an experience that will keep guests coming back, spend more when they visit, and recommend the brand to friends, family and co-workers. To do so the brand experience needs to stand apart from competitors. This means the product and service expectations of customers must always be met or exceeded at each location, every day.
The ongoing improvement of operational quality is key. Restaurants must set operational goals for their locations and coach employees on how to improve guest experiences in order to drive purchases and return visits.
Empathica offers a comprehensive Customer Experience Management (CEM) program that helps food service organizations improve the guest experience and meet their brand promise consistently through a number of key program elements:
- Guest Journey Mapping & Loyalty Modeling enables you to determine the critical elements of the guest journey that differentiates your brand and identify the key drivers of brand loyalty for your guests.
- Guest & Employee Surveys allow you to hear the voice of your guests and employees to understand how well you are meeting their expectations – and to develop action plans to address any issues quickly and effectively.
- Prescriptive Reporting enables you to identify – for each and every restaurant site – the critical elements of the guest experience that need attention to have a high impact on customer loyalty.
- Analyst Suite provides easy access to the data Business Analysts need for ad hoc data queries, analysis and presentation assembly. It allows for instant access to answers whether they are on day-to-day operations, analysis of pattern and trends across segments, or determining strategic brand insights.
- Social Media Integration gives you the tools to reach out to your “connected customers” and mobilize them as brand advocates.
Aligning your people and processes based on detailed, honest and instant customer feedback can help you build your brand on several fronts. An effective CEM program enables you to deliver a consistent brand experience across all your locations, drive customer satisfaction and increase sales. Social media integration can then help you turn digitally connected, satisfied customers into advocates who become a powerful voice for your brand.
New Food Services Case Study: Smashburger
Read how one of America’s hottest new restaurant concepts, Smashbuger, is utilizing Empathica LocalTM to deliver great customer experiences at each and every location of their business.
Empathica Local is a new CEM product that focuses on helping location managers deliver consistent and memorable customer experiences at their restaurants. The product’s simple, clear interface eliminates the need to search through complex reports to find insights and leverages prescriptive reporting technology to set focus areas. As a result, location managers can focus on local issues where they need specific guidance on what to fix and how they can improve the local customer experience and strengthen the brand they represent.
The results with Smashburger are impressive:
- 5.5% improvement in guest satisfaction
- 8% improvement in areas of focus
- 12,000 social media recommendations
- 2 million impressions of positive recommendations
Steve Prodger, Vice President of Food Services | Los Angeles
Steve Raher, Business Development Director for EMEA | Birmingham, UK