Customer touch points are your brand’s points of customer contact from start to finish. Identifying these points of contact is important so that you can make sure your customers are satisfied every step of the way. Restaurants only have one opportunity to make a good first impression on a new customer and these different touch points can be the reason why a customer decides to revisit or avoid your establishment. Not only that, due to people today being so socially connected, customers who have either good or bad experiences will share their story on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, etc. It’s important to find the various touch points your business has with customers along with how to manage the most important ones to improve customer satisfaction.
Finding your customer touch points
It helps to identify all of your customer touchpoints by making a list of all the places and times that customers may come into contact with your brand. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all model for customer touch points due to each brand varying in their approach to customer relations, but here you can see just a few of the many potential customer touch points you may have:
Before purchase: Social media, testimonials, word-of-mouth, ratings and reviews, advertising, marketing/PR, etc.
During purchase: Restaurant, promotion, staff, point of sale, menu, customer service, etc.
After purchase: Marketing emails, service and support teams, follow-ups, social media etc.
Important touch points in the restaurant
The face of your restaurant/first physical impression – Keeping a neat and clean exterior is just as important as keeping the interior clean for guests since the exterior is a big part of the first impression. Have ample and accessible parking to welcome customers and ensure they’re not skipping your restaurant due to a lack of parking provisions.
Host/hostess station – Your customers will get an impression of how your restaurant treats customers based on this first interaction. How are they greeted? Is the acknowledgement immediate? Are they rushed to their seats? Also, analyze the station itself and be sure that the appropriate signage is viewable along with cleanliness.
The menu – Presenting your offerings is one of the most important ways to leave a lasting impression on your customer. The food is probably the biggest reason they came into your restaurant, so be sure that the menu is clean, legible, and easy to navigate. Pricing should also be identified and reflect the appropriate value of the brand.
The server – Most customer interaction will take place with the server. Paying attention to hiring, continual training and education are all crucial for exceptional customer service. A friendly personality and good attitude can help leave a lasting impression on the customer’s experience of the restaurant. It’s usually recommended to hire for attitude and train for skill.
Food and drink – Having a visually appealing dish can go a long way both for customer satisfaction and for social sharing. Is the size of the plate consistent with the portion of food? Are the plates and glasses clean? Are garnishes applied when appropriate? Are foods taking the expected amount of time, is it too slow or too fast? The amount of time it takes is also very important.
Use mystery shopping for customer satisfaction
Understanding how you can best meet customers needs should start with understanding the many touch points your business has with customers. These are only a few of the many points of contact most restaurants have with customers, and you’ll find that your touch points may be completely different than the restaurant next door. It isn’t always an easy task finding your contact points from an internal perspective, and many times customers lack the professional experience to fill in the blanks. Using a restaurant mystery shopper is a great way to collect the data and feedback needed to better address your business’s customer touch points. Connect with Braymark, the best secret shopper company in Niagara.