The customer experience is imperative to creating return visits. It’s been found that it takes 3 positive and seamless experiences for a customer to become a return visitor to your venue. The first time your customer will enter your venue and (assuming that they have a flawless visit) the statistical likelihood of that customer returning is around 40%. Even after a second time and a completely flawless experience, the likelihood of return still remains at around 42%. But after their third visit, the chance of them returning skyrockets to about 70%.
The key to returning customers and turning that one time experience into many is at least 3 flawless visits, with incentives for that customer to continue returning to make that third crucial reservation.
At H&L we believe that begins before they walk in the door. They need a seamless and convenient method of making their booking at all times of the day, that don’t incur an extra cost to you. The key to this is using an online booking system, one that is venue focused – not customer focused. As soon as you can see a directory or any form of external referral this is not working in your favour in getting your diner back into your venue. You may believe that it is beneficial to have an extra referring site, but it’s not. It means that your customers will also be directed out of your venue – often with large discounts which can cheapen the experience. Integration is also key in creating this smooth service, so look for a system that is integrated into your POS.
Secondly it is vital to recognise this customer. Ensure that your staff know that this diner needs special attention, all customers are valuable but some more than others. Ensure your reservation system can flag customers’ status to your staff and recognise who is who to provide service that is above and beyond. Look at punctuality, regularity, and average cheque. BooKBooK has the ability to do so, and even will flag this on the POS for all to see.
Finally it is important to make customers feel important, and special regardless of their server. For return customers you can place permanent notes that come up every time the customer sets foot inside your venue, you can note their birthday, favourite bottles of wine, or anniversary. Recognise customers for their loyalty, and grow those return visits to reach the vital third for a huge return rate on loyalty.
The loyal customer is a dying breed, but you need to learn how to get your irregular regulars back into your venue as much as possible. They may not be a solely loyal customer, but that loyalty will help your business grow exponentially if you treat them right.