It’s a good thing when consumers seek out your establishments to celebrate special occasions. It’s even better when consumers seek out your establishment for everyday occasions. Who wouldn’t want the repeat traffic of more occasions? But how do you change their perception and ultimately buying behavior?
Before doing anything else, a restaurant needs to look at their product. The menu items need to be broad enough to appeal to a higher frequency guest while still staying true to the brand. The cost of the products needs to allow consumers with a budget to be able to come back more often.
As with anything, communication is key. To effectively get consumers to perceive your restaurant as a regular everyday option, the majority of the advertising should do the following:
- Showcase everyday situations
- Highlight menu items for everyday use.
- Communicate in a way that uses everyday language. Talk the way your audience would talk.
- Have continuous communication that doesn’t revolve only around holidays, events, etc.
With the right products and communication strategy, consumers will begin to move toward everyday occasions, thereby increasing frequency.
Your most vocal customers are typically those that would rank you as a one or a five on a five-point scale. They either really love you or they really don’t at all.
But in our social world, we’re getting twos, threes and fours coming out of our ears. It’s no longer difficult to express every complaint: slow service, cold food, wrong order, etc. Companies aren’t only encouraging it, they are rewarding it. Customers are savvy. They see someone complain and get freebies back. Not all customers are trying to get something in return, but they do know they can be heard.
American Express released their 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer which revealed that:
- 93% of consumers say companies fail to exceed their customer service expectations
- 55% walked away from an intended purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience
- 17% of consumers say they’ve used social media at least once in the last year to obtain a customer service response
- 21% of those were willing to pay a premium at companies that provide great service
- Social media users tell three times as many people about positive service than the general population
It’s hard not to put a focus on customer service in social media. However, Forbes recently directed companies to dump their customer-service oriented social media strategy. They discuss the importance of using social media as a tool that ladders up to brand and business objectives.
It all boils down to knowing your customers. Know what they want. Know what they need. Be true to your brand. Social media can be most powerful when all of those are combined.