Creating a fantastic experience for your customers isn’t just about what happens when they dine with you. Exceptional food, great service and a wonderful atmosphere are all important but the experience really starts the moment that a customer browses and books. If you’re looking to create long lasting relationships with customers, and to attract new people to your brand, then it’s crucial to pay attention to the experience you’re providing from those early stages.
Building trust starts at the point of browsing
Consumers buy into what they trust and that’s why the booking process is so important for restaurants today. You may have the most innovative menu and exciting aesthetic but if your booking system is tricky to use, or doesn’t give customers the information they need, it will be difficult to start building the trust that leads to a positive experience.
Diners today have a wealth of choice when it comes to eating out and make choices based on factors such as trustworthiness and convenience. Being able to provide a positive browsing experience and straightforward, efficient booking can make your business stand out from the crowd.
A good online booking system is essential
Around two thirds of diners will abandon a booking experience and go elsewhere if there are obstacles in the way. That could be, for example, menus that are only available as PDFs or page layouts that are confusing or don’t provide key information. If your online presence is chaotic or looks unprofessional then customers may make a judgment about what the dining experience is going to be like based on that.
For most consumers, the first contact with the brand is a good indication of what they can expect from the rest of the experience. So, if booking is clear, simple, convenient and satisfying, they are left with the impression that their dining experience will be too.
Giving customers what they want
It’s not just about supplying a booking system that customers can use but tailoring it to the needs and lifestyles that those customers have. So, for example, we frequently see people using smart phones and devices to book dining options in their immediate area. That could be a home neighbourhood or a location where they are traveling or working.
These “temporary” customers can be incredibly valuable because 90% of mobile browsing customers will convert into a sale by the end of the day. And many will return in the future too. So, features such as real time availability and mobile friendly booking can be crucial to ensuring that your booking system is designed to capture these people.
Start as you mean to go on
Consistency is key in any business so it’s important to ensure that you’re delivering this when it comes to customer experience. A stylish and well designed booking system lets customers know what to expect and helps to promote your business. It can be as much of an asset as a great menu and helpful, happy staff.