Effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the customers you serve – a business cannot survive without a sound knowledge of its patrons. Even if you pay attention and know your customers inside out, you must ensure that research is ongoing. In this blog, we’ll show you how to understand your patrons better, speak their language and ultimately improve your loyalty offering so you can serve up nothing but success.

Hang out with your target audience

We often take social media’s marketing strength for granted, but by being more social, you can gain valuable insights into your target market, engage and delight it. Instagram is an ideal platform for the hospitality industry where businesses can go to showcase the aesthetic of their food and give potential clients a feel for the atmosphere in their establishments. It’s also a place where patrons can share their experiences for the benefit of others. That’s why Instagram is becoming more important than company websites when it comes to restaurant marketing and it’s certainly worth making growing your following a focus for your business.

Get in on the conversation

Use social media to get to know your customers. The best place to start is to pay attention to what they are saying about your brand. A quick search of your brand name will clear things up for you. You can create a campaign solely around what people are saying, or you could use a hashtag. For instance, ZzzQuil, a sleep-aid company, noticed that people were using the hashtag #GoToSleep, to share their sleep deprivation frustrations. The company took advantage of this and sent out tweets incorporating the hashtag with some clever copy.

Serve up success

Build a brand community

Trust is key to building and maintaining customer loyalty, so you don’t want to send out mixed messages. That’s why your online and offline messages must coincide. If you always tweet about families sharing a great meal, but encourage customers not to bring their children to your restaurant, you won’t build a successful community. Foster and focus on a consistent and deep commitment to your customers and remember, this customer contact could be someone’s full-time job.

Another important aspect of building a strong brand community is to hire right. Your employees ought to embody what your business stands for so they can show off the brand’s personality. Don’t fake it. Customers demand brand authenticity. There’s no need to overthink this: if customers get great food, service and experience, they’ll come back. Get these elements right and customer loyalty will form naturally.

Create targeted customer loyalty programmes

Adopting a Point of Sale (PoS) system is a critical first step to ensuring that you create customer loyalty programmes which yield results. Our PilotMiles loyalty programme is built on customer data, and your PoS system will give your restaurant great insights into who your most and least profitable customers are. Point of Sale (PoS) systems allow you to integrate PilotMiles into your restaurant’s service spectrum: the PoS system collects data each time a patron swipes their loyalty card. This gives restaurateurs in-depth information that enables them to offer suitable loyalty rewards. PilotMiles is an integrated loyalty programme with a simple cellphone or card signup. You can offer your clients earn&burn discounts, vouchers, digital gift cards and more, all for an affordable monthly payment.

Read our e-book for more on building customer loyalty in your restaurant and learn about other important marketing tips.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst