Editor’s Note: This article is a recap from a panel discussion — you can watch the full recording by clicking on the thumbnail below.
Customer loyalty is a really broad concept. That’s why we decided to talk with the VP of Marketing at Salad Collective, Jenn Ruppert, as well as Tattle’s Head of Analytics, Alex Kuzmanoff (formerly Dunkin’ and Blaze Pizza), on this exact topic.
This discussion is moderated by Tattle’s founder and CEO, Alex Beltrani. You can find the conversation summary below.
- Jenn Ruppert, VP of Marketing at Salad Collective
- Alex Kuzmanoff, Head of Analytics at Tattle
- Alex Beltrani, CEO and Founder at Tattle
How should restaurants measure guest loyatly?
Jenn Ruppert: Loyalty can be as broad as you can make it, and there are so many ways to assess how loyal your customers. Some common places to look are foot traffic, social listening, loyalty program participation etc. Various acquisition metrics and reward redemption are some good, low-hanging metrics. However, depending on your goal, ultimately it’s about building guest trust and measuring their experience. Because one thing you can know for certain is that great experiences drive repeat visits.
Alex Kuzmanoff: Just adding on to the metrics that Jenn listed above, some other common metrics include app downloads (if you have an app), reward participation rate as a percentage of transactions, as well as customer lifetime value.
How does guest feedback play a role in nurturing customer loyalty?
Jenn Ruppert: First of all, we’re super grateful for all the guest feedback we get. Without that, we wouldn’t know how to improve. Our philosophy towards guest feedback is to create an authentic culture that cares deeply about guest feedback and sentiment. In fact, every feedback submission gives us an opportunity to build trust with the guest. Our goal is to create satisfaction, and responding to feedback is a great way for us to we demonstrate that commitment to transparency and accountability.
By measuring guest satisfaction levels of different operational categories in Tattle, our true north star is really the Tattle dashboard. From accuracy and food quality, to menu knowledge and hospitatliy, we use Tattle to closely monitor our guest satisfaction levels and pinpoint the areas that might have issues.
Alex Kuzmanoff: I completely agree with Jenn’s view that feedback is a gift. Customer feedback pretty mcuh gives you the answer if you’re looking close enough — it’s the lead measure to sales and traffic success.
Guests will tell you your opportunities for improvement. That makes it possible for you torecover dissatisfied customers because they tell you exactly what it takes to remedy that experience.
One thing to note is that we’ve founde a 14 percentage point increase in guest recovery rate by personalizing the outreach. So instead of sending a generic message, try adding a human element to it by saying “My name is Alex and I’m here to help”. It can go a long way.
What do you think is the lowest-hanging fruit in nurturing more loyal customers?
Jenn Ruppert: For MAD Greens, we’ve learned that adding a flare and personality to our guest response email templates goes a long way. We’re all about leaning into our “madness”, so incorporating the brand that way has really worked for us.
Additionally, we emphasize having both an excellent in-store and digital guest relations. We train our in-store staff to make people’s day and don’t lose that human touch of the whole experience. And most importantly, respond to your customers in a timely manner! We use Tattle to manage our guest responses and monitor the reply rate in the dashboard to make sure that customers are being responded to.
Lastly, it’s just so important for you to make it easy for customers to come back — and restaurants really tend to struggle with that. Tattle’s rewards integration with Punchh allows us to instantly gift customers what they need to give us a second chance. Real-time feedback in Tattle has really made quick guest recovery possible for us.
Alex Kuzmanoff: Listening and guest recovery. In fact, at Dunkin’ we realized that if you can make things right by reaching out to a dissatisfied customer in a proactive manner and recover that guest, they’re more likely to have a really high satisfaction and come back again – than if things went right the first time.
There’s really tons of loyalty baked into the recovery process if you do it properly.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned from implementing Tattle?
Jenn Ruppert: Being able to understand the performance of individual operational categories and see how often they’re involved in an incident (a dissatisfactory experience) is extremely helpful. Especially since restaurants’ channel mix is going to digital and pickup, we’re losing that face-to-face interaction with customers to ask them exactly what went well and what didn’t.
For example, Tattle data was able to show us that accuracy really took a hit as our takeout sales ramped up — specifically due to missing dressings. As a result we switched our meal packaging to transparent containers where the dressings would go on top inside the packaging. This made it super easy for our staff members to see if the dressings are missing or not, and our accuracy improved.
We also made sure that guest recovery is super easy inside Tattle. It takes only two clicks for our team members to respond to a guest by applying an email template and optionally attach a reward.
Alex Kuzmanoff: I really echo that. Data collected inside Tattle helps restaurants understand where the opportunities are: is it the ordering process? Ambiguity in order details? Speed of service?
For example, at Blaze Pizza we learned that “Build-Your-Own” items tend to suffer more accuracy issues than standard builds. This is especially prevalent for delivery orders, because unlike having guests watch the build in-store, there are no accuracy advocates inside the restaurant. This requires restaurants to pay special attention to order accuracy for off-premise channels, and implement processes to combat that.
Any final thoughts on how restaurants can build a better guest loyalty strategy in 2023?
Jenn Ruppert: Never forget the human element in each guest interaction.
Also, leverage technology to be your friend. And make sure to use a platform that doesn’t drown you in data. That’s a big reason why we chose Tattle, which focuses on improvement and action rather than data reports that most operators don’t have the time to dive in.
Alex Kuzmanoff: Make better use of your data — whether it’s your CRM data, sales data, or sentiment data from Tattle. Ask the right questions and find answers from these data to help your business grow. This way you can turn a bet, or a hunch, into an educated bet, and make steady progress towards achieving a better guest experience and higher revenue.