Over the last decade, the power between brand and customer has shifted. Gone are the days of successful presumptive mass marketing. Customers are more selective with which brands they spend their money. The best brands have discovered that customer centricity means offering a great experience from the awareness stage, through the purchasing process, and finally post-purchase process. This need for customer centricity has been compounded by an explosion in social media marketing, social selling and mobility. Customers can now compare products and read reviews in real-time across multiple devices, presenting a challenge for brands.
To make the guest experience compelling, restaurants need to identify and define best customers, find more like them, and avoid over-investing in the rest. Always keep in mind that while measuring guest “satisfaction” is critical, satisfaction is a feeling, but loyalty is a behavior, and loyal customers reduce earnings volatility because loyal customers don’t churn.
At Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, we’ve built an omni-channel marketing ecosystem that enables us to offer the right experience at the right points in the guest’s journey to create affinity, drive traffic and ultimately loyalty. Any customer-facing systems that enable guest engagement with the brand should be integrated to help restaurants maintain a single view of the customer across all transactions. Today’s customers are looking at online ordering as table stakes.
Garbanzo has integrated its OLO online ordering application with the Paytronix Reward platform to create a single view of the customer across all transaction points. We consider our mobile app to be a central access point/hub to our affinity program and brand and have tightly integrated both our loyalty program and online ordering there as well.
Big Data, Bigger Answers
While Big Data gets so much attention today, it’s the little data that really matters. How are nuggets of info gained about customers through loyalty programs helping to influence customer behavior? How can the combined data from loyalty, online ordering and POS be leveraged? Garbanzo uses transaction-level data to develop a customer profile. This sharper perspective of core customer segments can be used for targeted marketing, site location, and to guide menu offerings, promotions, restaurant designs and other elements of the overall brand concept.
Looking forward, real-time social media responses and online reputation management are the next big challenges in customer relations. Online reviews have a major impact on SEO and consideration. Any central application that deploys speech recognition technology as an intelligent agent (IA) will be a critical platform. For example, via beacon technology, an IA marketing “bot” can start a conversation with customers, based on triggers, such as a customer’s location, time lapses in visits and the time of day or week. Advanced intelligent agents, data tracking, and other new technologies will transform the guest experience and equip restaurants to thrive in the Restaurant 3.0 world.
What was your first job?
Dishwasher and chicken butcher at my parents’ restaurant in 3rd grade. I was 8.
Who inspires you?
My father. He is always pushing me far past my comfort zone and filled with words of wisdom.
What are your hobbies?
Food recipe and concept ideation; Skiing; Running
What technologies excite you?
NFC (near field communications) and its endless possibilities
Sage Advice: If you want to make a difference in this industry: Get up early and grind hard. Remember the only MBA you really ever need is a Mop Bucket Attitude!
What is one other job that you would like to try?
I always wanted to be a pilot, specifically a Naval Aviator.
What is one goal that you would like to achieve in your life?
One of my goals, I share with my wife, is to inspire our children to be good and productive citizens of the world. To do whatever their life’s definition is of “making the world a better place.”