How Mobile Technology Can Help You Build an Old-School Customer Culture

In your grandpa’s day, the local diner cook knew his name, how he liked his eggs (over easy, with a side of bacon and hash browns), how he liked his coffee (black), and which of his kids was home sick with the flu.

Would Grandpa be thrilled with the quick, but anonymous, experience of ordering takeout from a mobile phone? Probably not—but as a restaurateur, you can take the opposite approach with mobile technology, and use it to revive that old-school approach to customer service and make sure your diners love you. Here’s how.

Customers Crave a Personalized Experience – Here’s How to Provide It

Stay relevant by providing a memorable experience to each customer who comes in the door, whether she’s a regular or she’s never stepped foot in your shop. This isn’t a foreign concept to many small cafe owners — how many people do you know who have a story about their favorite barista who starts making their triple soy macchiato the moment they step in the door? Customers want to feel like they’re part of your business, and here’s how to make that happen.

Foster an intimate culture.

Make your shop or restaurant feel like home to every customer who comes by for their order. Encourage your baristas to know your regulars’ names and greet them as they’re coming in the door. You can make this easier by implementing a mobile POS. Platforms like Instore let you easily get to know customers by tracking their names, favorite orders, and reward status in an automated customer database.

Show that you appreciate your customers.

Implement a loyalty program that shows your customers they’re truly valued for coming back time and again. According to a 2015 survey, 64 percent of customers want exclusive, customized deals, and the same percentage prefer to have their deals automatically credited at the point of sale. A free coffee or a $2 off coupon every few visits helps your customers feel like an important part of your business, which keeps them coming back for more. If your loyalty program is integrated with your mPOS system, you can instantly pull up available rewards as your customer orders, streamlining the experience for both the cashier and the customer.

Provide a memorable experience.

Go out of your way to provide the type of experience that every customer remembers fondly, and stand apart from the competition. If you see a customer come in with a dog, offer her a doggy treat or a scoop of doggy-safe frozen yogurt. Hand your best customer a cake pop on the house when you see him come in with his child. Write her name on her cup with a smiley face and an exclamation point. If you see on the customer loyalty database that it’s his birthday when he orders, comp his drink and wish him a fantastic day. He’ll remember it for months.  

It’s time to focus on the smallest details to delight your customers and keep them coming back. Take a tip from old-school diner culture and focus on learning your loyal customers’ needs—with a little help from modern mobile technology to make it easier.


Image Credit: Joe Haupt by CC BY-SA 2.0

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