We've dubbed 2012 the year of the Connected Pizzeria ... because it's clear that connecting to your customers is more critical than ever before. The good news is that technology makes it easier than ever in the past. From social media to mobile ordering, self-serve kiosks and interactive loyalty programs, customer involvement in businesses they care about is higher than ever. Are you capitalizing on this new level of connection with your customers? Smart restaurant owners are -- here's how! (Or to get the full details, download our free white paper: The connected Pizzeria)
Point-of-Sale: The Technology Link
Pizza point-of-sale systems have been around for decades, helping you take orders accurately and manage costs. They even pioneered the idea of direct customer marketing for restaurants. In fact, they've evolved to the point where many restaurant owners think of them as a commodity - all the same. But don't be fooled - your POS system is a critical tie to all the other technology you bring into your operation. Make sure to select a system that's flexible, evolving, and is already integrated with the customer-facing technologies that are critical to your operation - such as online ordering, self-serve kiosks, mobile ordering, and customer loyalty. Want to learn more about how to choose a POS system? Download our free POS Buyer's Guide!
Online Ordering Expected
Customers not only appreciate online ordering, they expect it from their local pizzeria. A recent Cornell study found that pizzerias have adopted online ordering at a rate nearly double that of other restaurants (Read more in this blog article). Getting the right solution can be tricky. Look for technology designed for pizza, that can handle your unique requirements and, most importantly, can help you realize the boost in ticket averages that good online ordering solutions are capable of. And of course, one that connects smoothly to your POS to avoid any operational hassles or customer service snafus.
Taking It Mobile
Did you know that 65% of smartphone users have ordered food from their phones? The mobile phone is the go-to technology for most consumers - make sure your restaurant is well represented with a mobile app that serves as a branding experience, not just a mobile version of your website which can be slow and clunky to navigate. Your online ordering provider should be able to give you a customized, branded mobile app for very little investment on your part. Learn more about GRS Mobile Apps.
Ready for Self-Serve?
Now that your customers are used to being in control of the ordering process with mobile and online application, it's easy to extend that experience to the store with a self-serve kiosk application that takes advantage of the same technology. Studies show that the #1 reason customers like to order online is because it puts them in control. Give customers that same level of control in your restaurant, while freeing up cashier time and reducing lines.
Stay Connected the Old-Fashioned Way: E-mail!
What's still the most cost effective, most results-driven, easiest way to connect with your customers directly? E-mail of course - why do you think your inbox is inundated with it? Stand out from the crowd by personalizing your e-mails, "nurturing" your customers based on specific behavior triggers. When you use the right technology, like GRS SalesBuilder, to automate your emails, you can sit back and relax while the system automatically prods your lazy customers, encourages your frequent ones, and sends trackable, one-time-use offers that will help increase the frequency of customer visits. Learn more about SalesBuilder.
Kick Up the Rewards
Take your e-mail program to the next level with a customer loyalty program recognizes your best customers and treats them with special rewards and offers. Of course, tying your loyalty program into your online & mobile ordering, your POS system, and your e-mail program is critical to getting the best, data-driven results. How does customer loyalty work best? Download our free guide to customer loyalty to find out!
Make it a 2-way conversation and you'll reap the benefits of better connection to your customers. How to get started? Here's a great blog article on restaurant social media.
Connecting the Dots
Technology can truly be the "Secret Sauce" that helps your pizza restaurant stand out from the rest and compete for your customers' dollar. And suprisingly, you don't have to spend a lot to be on the cutting edge - your customers are bringing the technology to you! You just have to be prepared to make the most of it. The most important key to success is working with a technology vendor who can help you connect all the pieces together - from point-of-sale to online, mobile, and self-serve ordering, customer loyalty and automated e-mail to social marketing. Learn more in our Free Guide - The Connected Pizzeria, or request your free demo today!