Why Your Restaurant Needs an Integrated Guest CRM System

Why Your Restaurant Needs an Integrated Guest CRM System

Because it costs six or seven times more money to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, it is wise to invest a lot of time and effort in keeping your current customers in the fold. That is why it is essential to have an integrated guest Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System for your restaurant.

Once a guest has exited your restaurant, it's time to focus on ways to stay at the forefront of his or her mind and secure a repeat visit. To get your restaurant customer retention strategy off the ground, you need to invest in a tool to power it: a restaurant CRM system.

A restaurant CRM platform that integrates directly into your POS system will help you stay in touch with guests, personalize your messaging based on their behavior and preferences, and help you keep them coming back time and time again.

Why is that essential? Statistics show that a customer who has made a purchase at your business has a 60% chance of making another one. To get that type of recurring traffic on a consistent basis at your restaurant would be a game-changer. Such a return rate also would minimize the investment required to land a new customer. 

That cost can be quite daunting. According to The White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. That is why retention rates are so important to restaurant owners.

What is a Restaurant CRM System?

CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is a technology used by a business to collect, store, and manage information about their customers. In a restaurant, a CRM system is used to:

  • Collect and store information about your guests, including buying behavior, dietary restrictions, birthdays, and contact information.
  • Stay in touch with your guests about important updates, events, etc.
  • Send personalized promotions, discounts, and rewards based on their buying behavior and preferences.

Restaurants who have an integrated CRM system enjoy the benefits of having everything in one place, allowing them to make better decisions about how they market their business, to whom, when, and for what reasons.

Benefits of a Fully Integrated CRM System for Your Restaurant

Here are three of the biggest benefits of investing in an integrated Restaurant CRM system.

1. It Collects Customer Data Safely

Many restaurants don’t realize how much information they have in their possession about their customers because it is not organized properly.

It's common for a restaurant to have a point of sale system, a loyalty program, and an online ordering vendor, all of which are independently collecting information about customers. Too often, they are collecting the same information over and over again and failing to use it in marketing efforts. This disjointed experience hurts your restaurant and prevents you from connecting with customers in a targeted, personalized manner.

When your restaurant CRM system integrates into your POS system, all of the fragmented data you collected is now neatly compiled in one central location. This allows you to create a detailed customer database that includes multiple data points including sales history, visit history, and more.

If a CRM system truly integrates with your POS, the stored customer insights you have access to won't be limited to in-house guests only.

If you host your online ordering and delivery services through your POS system, for example, the data you have about those who have used these services will be stored alongside the information you have about guests who have physically come into your restaurant. Customer insights are valuable, and it's important to treat them as such.

You'll want to make sure the restaurant CRM system you're investing in is PCI compliant. This means the system protects the data it is storing in accordance with federal regulations.

2. It Powers Your Restaurant Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs have become more popular than ever because restaurant owners, operators, and managers have recognized the importance of customer retention as well as customer acquisition.

When your restaurant CRM system directly integrates with your restaurant point of sale system, a restaurant loyalty/rewards program becomes easier to promote, manage, and grow.

With a CRM system, you can identify your highest-spending and most loyal guests, then target them with marketing campaigns that both show your appreciation and encourage their future patronage. This will allow you to take advantage of the points pressure mechanism, a phenomenon where a rewards program participant's spending will spike as they get closer to redeeming a reward.

Certain integrated CRM systems allow customers to sign up for your restaurant's loyalty program whenever they give payment. Now, anytime a participant in your loyalty program pays with a credit or debit card, the loyalty points automatically will be associated with their contact history in your restaurant's integrated CRM system.

3. It Allows You to Create Personalized Marketing Campaigns

You are investing in a restaurant CRM system is to learn more about your customers and how they engage with your business. This information will show how you can better engage with them going forward.

To make it work, you'll need a CRM system that collects guest information and makes it easy to break down & analyze the data. That will allow you to segment your data to show who is buying which items. You can use these insights to power personalized marketing campaigns to engage guests with meaningful promotions for them.

For example, the data within your CRM system could identify all of your customers who have ordered a particular brand of beer or wine. That list can then be used to drive attendance to a promotional event featuring the brand in question or to encourage visits and move excess inventory.

Extend Your Guest Experience with an Integrated CRM System

The benefits of a restaurant CRM system are undeniable and the ROI is outstanding. With the right tools in your possession, rebooting your guest experience and turning every guest into a repeat customer is well within your grasp.