The experience makes all the difference in the restaurant industry. If I have crummy service and decent food I’m not going to want to come back. Deliver great service with decent food and I’m probably still going to come back.
Recently I had dinner at bd’s Mongolian Grill where I was pleasantly surprised by the energy as well as the commitment to marketing from the staff.
We encountered many point of purchase marketing messages that encouraged long-term relationships. An example of this would be the survey at the end of the meal that asked if we were told about joining the email club – which we were invited to and did join. While bd’s was trying to encourage the long-term relationship they missed out on one very important factor.
Not all of bd’s customers use email as a primary way to communicate. To really create long-term relationships with their customers bd’s needs to be available on the platforms that their customers use. Once I got home I decided to dig deeper into bd’s social plan and found that they have limited presence on several platforms including Facebook and YouTube. Having a presence on a platform is easy being active and creating conversation as well as community will really help establish long-term loyalty. There is also a significant amount of chatter on Twitter with no corporate responses to questions or customer satisfaction issues. It is OK to use a social media platform as a listening tool and respond as needed verse leaving your customers hanging.
My recommendation to bd’s is to take the strong in store marketing online. Make it easier for me to stay connected and keep your restaurant top of mind the next time I’m thinking about dinner. Always keep in mind that a good marketer will find their audience and speak to them on the platform in the language that will foster long-term mutually beneficial relationships.