Hospitality venues exist with the support of their regulars. Knowing when they are coming in, why they are coming in, what they are ordering and so on can help venues develop marketing strategies, personalise service and keep customers coming back for more.
But recording and utilising data can be a challenge for venues that don’t have a system or strategy in place. It’s difficult enough for staff to remember names, faces and details while running table service. Transferring this information, if, or when, staff leave is another great challenge.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system can help to ensure these important details are stored safely and efficiently in the one place. According to Director of Sales and Marketing at Impact Data, Sarah Franklyn, the integration of CRM with a table management system like ResDiary can be key to turning one-time visitors into loyal customers.
“Holding the history of their booking.”
Franklyn says that Impact Data’s TalkBox is not a fully-blown CRM system, but a digital marketing application that stores meaningful customer information in the venue’s database. She says that TalkBox – when integrated with ResDiary – makes it easy to reach out to, and communicate with customers via email and SMS marketing campaigns.
“There are two main things we take from ResDiary, the contact information about the person making the booking and booking data such as the date, service period [and] number of covers,” Franklyn says.
“We know from our research from customers that 80 percent of customers don’t return, and we know that customers who receive personalised communications are much more likely to visit the venue again. If you ask them to come back, they’re more likely to do so.”
Franklyn says that the booking data is an asset that adds to the venue’s bottom line.
“With Talkbox, venues can talk to their customers, and drive revenue by selling offers such as Mothers’ Day Packages, or gift vouchers for Christmas,” she says.
“If businesses choose to opt in, they might realise the value of that data.”
“It frees up staff who don’t need to take information”
While TalkBox stores relevant data that is integrated with ResDiary, they are careful not to ask for or access information that is unnecessary or extraneous. According to Franklyn, customers have to approve access to their data, and give permission for their booking data to be integrated with TalkBox.
“The hospitality venues own the data; we just help them manage it. It’s about celebrating them on their birthday, or asking and retaining feedback after a first visit,” she says.
Franklyn also says that CRM software frees up staff who would otherwise have to record this information.
“By triggering relevant communications to a particular customer, we can [help to ensure that] they become loyal to that brand. They might have come for the first time to experience a restaurant, and the messages make sure they’re thinking about coming back,” she says.
“These messages are unique based on their prior experience, and venues can alert customers of a particular event [in a way that’s consistent] with their past behaviour.
“They might open up the message and see beautiful images that make them hungry, and attached is a big ‘book now’ button that inspires them to make a reservation.”
“It’s an asset that you own – you should have control of it”
According to Franklyn, CRM and digital marketing applications like TalkBox can turn customers into advocates of the venue.
“By talking to customers regularly and providing them with the opportunity to book for a particular event, function or promotion first, you’re ensuring that the customer feels important and valued,” Franklyn says.
“You’re building the relationship when they’re not at the premises, and keeping the venue front of mind. The customer had such a beautiful meal – this email or SMS message is the reminder that they should go back to the restaurant.”
She adds that integrating ResDiary with a TalkBox connection is an easy and painless process
“We’ve done it many times, and are experts at integrating ResDiary data. [Hopefully, it will help in] turning one-time visitors into loyal customers.”
Find out how a ResDiary and CRM integration can work for your venue at your own personalised demo.
Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.